2

What's the difference between adjectives and past participles?

For example, interesting types and interested types?

Update: That example was not really good. Take a look at this one:

"Creating standardized symbols to represent relationships that are conflicted should be enough."

What if we say "relationships that are conflicting"? What's the difference?

Likewise is there a difference between conflicting relationships and conflicted relationship?

6
  • 2
    A past participle can have the function of an adjective. In your example, the two have opposite meanings - interesting to other people, interested in something. Jul 2, 2023 at 7:10
  • You've written so little detail. I've rarely if ever come across "interested types". Can you come up with a sentence using the expression "interesting types" or "interested types"? For example, " Python is an interesting type of programming language.“ Maybe you just want to know the difference between interested and interesting e.g. "That's an interesting guy” and "I'm not interested in that guy”?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 2, 2023 at 7:58
  • The simple answer is that past participles are verbs. In your examples "interesting" and "interested" are both 'regular' adjectives modifying the noun "types", of which they are dependents in the NPs. There are, however, some adjectives that are formed from part participle verbs, and these are called past-participial adjectives, as in "It didn't look broken to me".
    – BillJ
    Jul 2, 2023 at 9:01
  • @Mari-LouA I might have chosen not a good example. Have a look at this sentence: "Creating standardized symbols to represent relationships that are conflicted should be enough." What if we say "relationships that are conflicting"? What's the difference?
    – John
    Jul 2, 2023 at 9:03
  • 1
    The new example is much better and makes it clearer why you are asking. I have retracted my vote to close the question for lack of detail.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 2, 2023 at 10:19

4 Answers 4

3

[1] It was broken deliberately, out of spite.

[2] It didn't look broken to me.

In [1] "broken" is a past participle, while in [2] it's a past-participial adjective.

The adjective "broken" differs from the the verb form in that:

(a) It can be modified by "very", which can't modify verbs.

(b) It can occur as complement to complex-intransitive verbs like "become" ("It became quite broken") or "seem" ("It seemed broken").

2

It many languages, such as Korean, English present and past participles translate to the same word, so for instance, the sentences "She is bored" and "She is boring" may have the same form.

In English, the first sentence shows concern, while the second in an insult.

The difference in meaning is that the "-ing" forms show the subject doing the verb, while the "-ed" forms show the subject affected by the verb.

For instance, picture a movie theatre with people watching the action movie. The movie is exciting because it causes the people watching to feel excited. The movie causes the change, and the people receive the change.

So if someone is "boring", it means they make other people feel bored, and if someone is "bored", it means something boring has caused them to feel like that.

0
1

is there a difference between conflicting relationships and conflicted relationship?

A conflicted relationship is ONE relationship. For example, Mr and Mrs Smith have a relationship. To say that relationship is "conflicted" simply means that their relationship contains conflicts. (For example "He cannot forget what she did in the past ..." or "It pisses her off that he never pays for meals" or whatever.)

To repeat, a conflicted relationship is ONE relationship.

"Conflicting relationships" are completely different and totally unrelated. Say there are a NUMBER OF relationships. Persons A+B, persons C+D, persons E+F, persons A+C, persons A+E and so on. Five relationships in the example. For some reason, these relationships cause conflict.

Each individual relationship of the five may be perfect in every way (not conflicted) but for some reason the five relationships conflict with each other.


If, obscurely, you say a conflicting relationship (no S), what you are saying is that some relationship conflicts with some other relationship. (The relationship itself may be perfect, not conflicted.)

0

interesting X and interested X

An interesting X is something "that is interesting".

For example, suspension bridges are interesting.

An interested X is something that is interested in some topic at hand.

For example, John is interested in woodworking.

Note that an "interested" X can only be a human being, or arguably a higher animal.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .