Bored versus Boring

Over the years, I have had more than a few students either confuse these two words, while speaking, or express their confusion about which to use and when.

Not long ago, the situation arose with one of my TOEFL students from China. I promised her that I would type up an explanation for her. The idea was to help her to learn which word to use and in which situation(s) to use them. However, I figured, that if I am going to type it up, I may as well share it with everyone.

Aside from the difficulty of actually having to remember the information, this is pretty easy to learn and understand.

BORED (Adjective)

Bored is used to describe how you or how a person feels. Usually, this is because that person is in a place or at an event that is not fun or not interesting. This could also be used to describe a situation where someone has nothing to do. As a result, they might be/feel bored.


  • I feel bored.
  • I am bored.
  • John does not like the movie, so he is bored.
  • The two boys can't think of anything fun to do, so they are bored.

BORING (Adjective)

Boring is used to describe the person, thing, event, etc. that makes someone feel bored.


  • This movie is boring.
  • Joe is not much fun to be with. He is boring.
  • My date is boring because she is not talking much.
  • This is a boring game. There is not much scoring.

Interestingly enough, there are other forms that we can use, as well.

Boring (Present Continuous Verb)

Boring can also be used as a present continuous verb.


  • You are boring me to death.
  • This movie is boring me to tears.
  • This speech is boring me to sleep.

Bore (Verb and Noun)

Bore is the base verb form, as well as, a noun.


  • Are you trying to bore me to death? (Verb)
  • I really do not want to attend this lecture. I just know it will bore me. (Verb)
  • History is such a bore. I do not find it interesting, at all. (Noun)
  • My job is so tedious, and it is a total bore.

Boredom (Noun)

Boredom is the noun form.


  • I am dying of boredom.
  • I think Mary is suffering from boredom.
  • The boredom of retirement compels many retirees to find part-time work or start a new business.
  • Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can relieve my boredom?


I once read an expression that said that only boring people get bored. The idea is that if you are boring, then you are not able to find anything that interests you. Perhaps, that person does not have enough interests or does not like to do or try new things. As a result, they will not be able to find enough interesting things to do and so they will be bored.

I certainly hope that this helps you to better understand when and how to use these two words - BORED and BORING

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a message below and I will do my best to answer it as quickly as I can.

If you would like to schedule a class, please contact me directly and we can work that out.

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