Participial Adjectives Part II: The Thrilling Kind

Yesterday we dealt with participial adjectives that ended in –ed.

Today we will address the kind that ends in –ing, such as “thrilling” and “exacting.”
These words can also be verbs, and you can tell if they are adjectives if you can use “very” in front of it and have it make sense.

He was a very exacting boss, setting deadlines that required overtime. (adjective)
The troll was exacting an edible toll from everyone crossing his bridge. (verb)

(Side note: They love trolls in Norway. You should see the huge stone one built where the gas pipeline from the offshore Troll field comes ashore!)

Ah, but I digress….

Some other nifty things you can do with the –ing form of participial adjectives are:

1)  Make comparatives and superlatives using “more” and “most.”
Examples: more thrilling, most thrilling

2)  Use them in both attributive and predicative forms.
That is a thrilling roller coaster! (Attributive)
That roller coaster is thrilling! (Predicative)

3) Combine them with a noun to make a hyphenated adjective.
Examples:  energy-saving light bulbs, flag-waving patriots

Not only are –ing words used as adjectives and verbs, they can also be used as nouns.
Those are called “gerunds,” and there is a previous Tip of the Day on “Nouning a Verb” that deals with gerunds. Look it up if you’d like to learn my personal motto.


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