Past & Present Participles as Adjectives

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Guest:
I would like to know the difference between the adjectives ending in -ed and -ing.
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Here's a clue: -ed and -ing are also stuck onto verbs, and they connote when or how the action takes place. Adding '-ed' makes a lot of verbs past tense, and it also creates the participle for perfect tenses: walk, walked, have walked. What you end up with is a sense of completed action. So, an adjective ending in '-ed' is really a participle used as an adjective, and it, too, implies completed action.

Ex. A washed car is clean. -->The act of washing happened in the past and has been completed. The car is clean as a result. The adjective 'washed' is the participal of the verb 'wash'.

Adding '-ing' makes a verb progressive, meaning that the action is ongoing and incomplete: am walking, was walking, have been walking, etc. When a verb with an '-ing' ending is used as an adjective, it also implies ongoing and incomplete action.

Ex. She's a charming girl. -->The girl has a constant aura of charm that does not dissipate or weaken. Her charm is constant.
Junior Member70
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In addition to what Nestor said, with most verbs, -ing and -ed adjectives show whether the noun is the agent or receiver of the action expressed by the participle, which means they show two completely different situations.
"A frightening animal" is very different from "a frightened animal". Yet, neither is more 'complete' than the other. They are just different.

"A frightening animal" is an animal that will frighten you. The animal is the 'agent' or 'doer' (so to speak) of the action.
"A frightened animal" is one that has been frightened by someone/something else. In this case, the animal is the 'receiver' of the action expressed by the participle (or 'participial', as these adjectives are also called).

Other examples:
"an interesting film" - "an interested look on her face"
"an amusing joke" - "an amused audience"
"surprising news" - "a surprised smile"

Miriam
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Miriam-

That's a much better answer. It's obvious that you're the professional and I'm the amateur.

But...I stand by my assertion that one component of the difference between present and past participle adjectives is the 'completeness' of the action.
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Guest:
I just find it hard to use the agent or receiver rule to explain "a good-looking man" because the man is being looked rather than looking at others in this case.
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When the verb base ("look" in this case) is intransitive, the -ed form won't make sense.

There's no such thing as "The man is looked good", so there is no "good-looked man".
There is, however, "The man looks good", so there is a "good-looking man".

The same would happen for other intransitives like "sleep": "a sleeping man", but not "a slept man".

Probably the full name of these participles should be "Present Active Participle" and "Past Passive Participle".

It might be interesting to think about what a "Present Passive Participle" or a "Past Active Participle" would be!!! Emotion: smile
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