Bored vs Boring
Both, bored and boring, carry similar meaning, but there is some difference between bored and boring when it comes to their usage. It is very useful to know the difference between bored and boring, if you want to use these two words to describe situations and things appropriately. Why is it that when you are playing, you are singing, you are sleeping, you are not bored, but when you have something uninteresting happening around you, you are bored? Why is a programme boring and you feel or are bored? Cannot you say you are boring? This is where students learning English, especially those for whom it is a foreign language, become a bit confused. There are many such examples in English language, but we shall restrict ourselves to the difference between bored and boring for a while.
What does Boring mean? What does Bored mean?
First of all, remember that both boring and bored are adjectives. Both of them can be used to describe things or situations. Now, they both mean uninteresting or tedious.
If you are watching a boring movie, you are not boring, but getting bored. So, it is the movie that is boring and not you, who is boring. You feel bored, not boring like other -ing verbs. But, if you are boring, (yes it is a valid usage) then other people do not wish to be around you. Look at the following examples.
Martha bores Andy, so Andy is bored. Martha is boring.
Thus, if Andy finds Martha uninteresting, he gets bored by her company and feels that Martha is a boring girl.
Actually, boring is not a verb like running, sleeping, playing, jumping, etc. It is an adjective that ends in -ing and describes a person, object or a situation that causes a feeling. There are adjectives that end in -ed and they describe ones’ own feelings. No one feels he is boring, but has this feeling about others. It is alright to say he or she is boring, but not I. Instead, to describe one’s own feeligs, the adjective is used with –ed. Thus, the correct way to say is “I am bored.”
Now, according to the BBC, these –ed adjectives are usually used to describe a temporary state or feeling, which is caused by something. Then, the –ing adjectives are used to describe the qualities of something or someone. They are permanent. So, in that sense, boring is used to describe the permanent qualities of someone or something while bored is used to describe a temporary state or feeling. Now, you will understand the following examples better.
Andrew is so boring.
I’m bored. Let’s go to the mall.
In the first sentence, boring is used because we are describing a quality of a person. That means, this Andrew was boring yesterday, he is boring today, and he will be boring tomorrow. It is something that lasts. In the second sentence, bored is used because we are talking of a temporary feeling. This person is bored, but going to the mall will make that person not bored. That is very different to Andrew being boring.
What is the difference between Bored and Boring?
• Boring is not a verb like other -ing verbs. Rather, it is an adjective that describes the quality of a person which is why it is never used for oneself, but readily used for others. So he or she might be boring, but not oneself.
• If someone is boring, you feel bored in his company.
• Boring is used not only for a person, but also for an object or situation. Hence, there can be a boring film, comic, a TV program, and so on and you get bored while seeing or reading them.
• Boring is used to describe the permanent qualities of someone or something while bored is used to describe a temporary state or feeling.