Which of the two participial adjectives works here?

  • I woke up panicked, because I'd had a nightmare.
  • I woke up panicking, because I'd had a nightmare.

If you have a nightmare, you start to panick before you wake up, so I guess the present form doesn't work; it suggests that panicking took place during my waking up.
But the past form doesn't ring right to me either. Why? I don't know. Maybe because not all past participles can be used as adjectives.

One would suggest other options, like I panicked and woke up because ..., but I'm interested to know if anything's wrong with the title sentence, especially the past participle, as I came across it in a book today (used in a sentence just like the title).

  • I suppose "panicked" but it doesn't sound natural. I would use "I woke up in a panic" instead.
    – user3169
    Feb 20 '16 at 16:33

Both work, and really there is very little difference in meaning.

If you insist on digging deeper, ''panicked'' refers to the fact that you have already experienced panic before you woke up, and your current state is the result of that. ''Panicking'' means that you are in panic now that you have woken up.

  • Thanks sir. +1. But I didn't expect the past participlial adjective to seem natural to native speakers. It's like me saying: Now that you've answered my question, I'm gonna leave ELL, learned. Doesn't it sound off a bit?
    – Færd
    Feb 20 '16 at 20:28

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