Session 1

Welcome to Unit 6! You're going to meet lots of interesting and exciting people - and learn about the past simple tense. In Session 1, Emma does a pub quiz about some great achievers. Join her team and see if you know the answers. Then, listen to the after-quiz conversation and hear examples of the past simple tense in action.

Sessions in this unit

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    Activity 3

Activity 3

6 Minute Vocabulary

-ing and -ed adjectives

They're easy to confuse - so when should we use them? Finn and Catherine explain in this week's 6 Minute Vocabulary.

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Finn
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Finn…

Catherine
And I’m Catherine. In today’s programme we’re going to look at i-n-gand e-d adjectives.

Finn
So if you’re interested in vocabulary, but you find some adjectives confusing, keep listening…

Catherine
Yes, keep listening, and it’s on with the show! I must say Finn, you’re looking very relaxed today.

Finn
That’s because I was on holiday last week. It was very relaxing. Speaking of holidays, here are two people who had a bad time on holiday. What went wrong?

INSERT
Man
The train was horrible. Big gangs of teenagers playing music on their phones – I got very annoyed.

Woman
The flight was delayed and we had ten really boring hours in the airport with nothing to do.

STING

Catherine
Not much fun, eh? So, the man was annoyed, or angry, about teenagers playing music. And the woman had a long and boring wait in the airport.

Finn
So let’s have a closer look. Here’s the woman again.

REPEAT INSERT

Woman
The flight was delayed and we had ten really boring hours in the airport with nothing to do.

Finn
Now adjectives ending with i-n-g, like boring, usually describe things or events that make us have a particular feeling.

Catherine
That’s right, and in the example, boring describes all those hours and hours in the airport. Ten long, boring hours. Sound familiar Finn?

Finn
That sounds very familiar, yes.

Catherine
And there are lots of i-n-g adjectives we can use to describe things or events. We can talk about a confusing problem, a surprising piece of news or an exciting film with lots of action. Finn, what’s the most exciting film you have ever seen?

Finn                
So many exciting films. But the first one I can think of is Gravity. In space. Very exciting. Ok Catherine, what is your idea of a relaxing holiday?

Catherine
I do like to be beside the seaside, Finn. Now let’s look at e-d adjectives. We're going to hear from a woman who got a very cheap holiday. What e-d adjective does she use?

INSERT
We got a great deal. I was surprised at how cheap it was.

Catherine
We use e-d adjectives to say how we feel about something. In our example, the adjective surprised describes how the woman feels about the price.

REPEAT INSERT
We got a great deal. I was surprised at how cheap it was.

Catherine
She didn’t expect it to be so cheap!

Finn
That’s right. If I say: I get annoyed by loud music, the word annoyed describes my feelings about the music. The music is annoying, and I feel annoyed.

Catherine
And if I say: long lectures make me bored, the word bored describes my feelings about the lecture. The lecture is boring, and I feel bored. So, Finn, what makes you bored?

Finn
I never feel bored.

Catherine
Yes, you do.

Finn
Ok, when I'm travelling to work. A long commute is very boring and it makes me feel bored.

Catherine
Me too. And a word of warning here: don’t confuse bored and boring – because if you say I’m very boring, you’re actually saying that you make other people feel bored!

Finn
And you don’t want that.

IDENT
You’re listening to BBC Learning English.

Finn
And it’s time for a quiz. Listen to these sentences and choose whether they need an i-n-g or e-d adjective. Catherine will tell you the answers. Ready? Number one: ‘I enjoy taking long hot baths. They make me feel really…’ a) relaxed or b) relaxing?

Catherine
Now Finn, you’re describing your feeling, so it’s a) relaxed.

Finn
That’s right: they make me relaxed. Number two: ‘The discovery of life on Mars would be …’ a) surprised or b) surprising?

Catherine
We’re talking about a discovery, which is a thing, so it’s b) surprising.

Finn
And the last one: ‘Those students are very …’ a) annoying or b) annoyed?

Catherine
And this one is a trick question, because both of them are possible: Those students are very annoying is correct if we are describing the students.But Those students are very annoyed is what we say if we are talking about the students’ feelings.

Finn
That’s right, both are possible. And that brings us almost to the end of the show. But before we go, here’s today’s top tip for learning vocabulary: i-n-g and e-d adjectives are easy to confuse, so write down pairs of example sentences in your notebook.

Catherine
Very good. And remember there’s more about this at BBC Learning English dot com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both
Bye!

Downloads

You can download 6 Minute Vocabulary and the transcript from our Unit 6 downloads page or subscribe to the podcast from our 6 Minute Vocabulary podcast page.

Vocabulary points to take away

Both –ing and –ed adjectives help us to talk about our feelings.

The main difference is that –ing adjectives are usually used to talk about the person, place or thing that is making us feel a certain way:

  • Yawn! This lecture is really boring!

But –ed adjectives are used to talk about how we feel:

  • I’ve been listening to him for hours – I’m so bored.

Be careful: If you say I am boring – it’s grammatically correct, but it means that you make other people feel bored!

Here are some common pairs of -ed and -ing adjectives:

1) exciting and excited
We have seen some exciting developments in technology recently.

We are excited about our new range of smartphones.

2) surprising and surprised

It is surprising how little we know about our oceans.

My whole family was there for my party – I was so surprised!

3) annoying and annoyed

I hate popup adverts on the internet – they’re annoying!

I’m sorry, I know you’re annoyed – I won’t make that mistake again!

4) relaxing and relaxed

Some people find listening to classical music very relaxing.

Doing yoga makes me feel more relaxed.

5) confusing and confused

I couldn’t understand the story in that film – it was too confusing.

If too many people are talking at the same time, I get confused.

End of Session 1

That’s all for this session – we hope you enjoyed it. In session 2 we’ll take a closer look at the past simple tense. See you then.

Session Vocabulary

  • 1) –ing adjectives
    usually talk about the person, place or thing that is making us feel a certain way:

    Yawn! This lecture is really boring!

    2)ed adjectives

    talk about how we feel:

    I’ve been listening to him for hours – I’m so bored.

    exciting and excited

    We have seen some exciting developments in technology.

    We are excited about our new range of smartphones.

    surprising and surprised

    It is surprising how little we know about our oceans.

    My whole family was there for my party – I was so surprised!

    annoying and annoyed

    I hate popup adverts on the internet – they’re annoying!

    I’m sorry, I know you’re annoyed – I won’t make that mistake again!

    relaxing and relaxed

    Some people find listening to classical music very relaxing.

    Doing yoga helps me feel more relaxed.

    confusing and confused

    I couldn’t understand the story in that film – it was too confusing.

    If too many people are talking at the same time, I get confused.