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Hi!

I'm helping a Chinese woman who is preparing to take the TOEFL test, and we're working on her essays. I don't have any training in teaching English or ESL, so a lot of times it is hard for me to explain to her why a sentence isn't right. Anyway, a recent one tripped me up and I'm hoping someone knows the rule for this.

In her essay, she was writing about how small her apartment is, and the sentence was something like: "It's frustrated that my closet is too small for all of my clothes to fit into." I told her that she should use "frustrating" rather than "frustratED", but that didn't make sense to her. Is there a way I can explain it to her that she'll understand how to use it in the future?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Brooke
Comments  
Hello

I'm a learner from Japan.

I think you can use some pairs of phrases similar in the relation to "frustrated" and "frustrating"

[1] I am interested in the story. The story is interesting.
[2] I am surprised at the news. The news is surprising.
[3] I am bored with his lecture. His lecture is boring.
[4] I am frustrated with his behavior. His behavior is frustrating.

A person is frustrated. --> "I am frustrated with the fact that my closet is too small".
A thing is frustrating. --> "It is frustrating that my closet is too small".

paco
Yes. The mnemonic I use with my students is:

'-ing' is the thing and ' -ed' is me.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Re: "It's frustrated that my closet is too small for all of my clothes to fit into."

i) I am frustrated that my closet is too small for all of my clothes to fit into.
ii) It is frustrating (to me) that my closet is too small for all of my clothes to fit into.
[2] I am surprised at the news. The news is surprising.

Hi Paco,

Why is at the news? not in the news? I am confused in this one.
Why "surprised at" not "surprised in"? That is a question difficult to answer. This "at" is not to indicate a place, but to indicate a thing that causes human emotions: angry at, astonished at, dismayed at, delighted at, glad at, grieved at, mad at, pleased at, puzzled at, surprised at, vexed at, etc.

paco
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Thank you, everybody, for your responses. They were very helpful!

Brooke
just tell her for ppl -ed is used n for things -ing...like:

the film is boring n I'm bored!