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  • The Difference Between Bored and Boring

    Bored is an English adjective used when someone is uninterested or uninspired by a person or event. Boring an English adjective is used to describe the object or person that makes us feel uninterested or uninspired.

    Boring vs. Bored:

    Bored can only be used to describe how a person feels. A movie cannot be bored. A person can be boring, because a person can cause another person to feel bored.

    Examples of how bored and boring are used:

    • Maria was bored by the football game.
    • I was so bored at Michael’s party I fell asleep.
    • This book is very boring.
    • Mary is a boring teacher.

    English expressions about boredom:

    • I am bored stiff.
    • I am bored to tears.
    • I am bored to death.

    Advice for Using Bored or Boring:

    If you say I am bored, this is correct. Here you are expressing your feelings of being uninterested and uninspired.
    If you say I am boring, this is incorrect (we hope). It means your personal qualities are boring to other people.

    Using boring or bored with “get.”

    • This movie is boring.
    • This movie gets boring quickly.
    • Maria is bored.
    • Maria gets bored easily.

    To understand more, watch this video. It turns out that the understanding the difference between adjectives that end in ED or ING is a common problem for English students.

    Boring or Bored Exercise:

    Complete the exercise below. One of each of the statements is incorrect in each pair. See if you can guess which one.
    Jonathan was incredibly bored at Mary’s wedding and left at 4 pm.
    Jonathan was incredibly boring at Mary’s wedding and left at 4 pm.
    I have heard that the island is beautiful but that there isn’t much to do and it can get boring easily, especially in winter.
    I have heard that the island is beautiful but that there isn’t much to do and it can get bored easily, especially in winter.
    He played video games every day and I was so boring I moved out.
    He played video games every day and I was so bored I moved out.
    Green is a very boring color on you.
    Green is a very bored color on you.
    If you are so bored by the course you chose, switch to a different one.
    If you are so boring by the course you chose, switch to a different one.

    Let’s watch the intro to the HBO series Bored to Death. See if you can tell from it why the show was given this title.

    Want to continue learning? Read our guides to English expressions and English phrasal verbs.