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Ask Doctor English
Your ESL and English language learning specialist. Ask Dr. English whatever you like about the English language.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


There are some English words that are similar but have very different meanings. These words can be confusing and therefore are often used incorrectly by non-native speakers of English.

A common example of this are the words INTERESTING and INTERESTED. The word INTERESTING is an adjective which means that something attracts your attention, perhaps because it is exciting or unusual. The word INTERESTED is also an adjective, but it means that something is important and you are keen to learn more about it or spend time doing it. (Collins Cobuild Dictionary).

We can say that someone or something is INTERESTING, meaning that it attracts our attention. For example, your English class may be interesting or your teacher may be interesting. You can used INTERESTED to show a deeper meaning of importance in something. For example, you might be interested in learning English or other skills. Note that INTERESTED is followed by the preposition IN and then the gerund form of a verb or by a noun.

If you would like more information on WORDS, WORDS, WORDS, please email Doctor English with your questions at drenglish@vec.ca.


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