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Ing vs. Ed — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Updated on May 15, 2024
"Ing" forms present participles and gerunds, indicating ongoing actions, while "Ed" forms past participles and simple past tense verbs, indicating completed actions.
Ing vs. Ed — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Ing and Ed


Key Differences

"Ing" suffix is used to create present participles and gerunds, which describe ongoing actions or activities. For example, "running" can indicate an action in progress. "Ed" suffix, on the other hand, is used to form past participles and the simple past tense of regular verbs, indicating completed actions. For example, "completed" shows that an action has been finished.
Present participles ending in "ing" are often used in continuous tenses. For instance, "She is reading a book" uses "reading" to show an ongoing action. Conversely, past participles ending in "ed" are used in perfect tenses and passive voice, such as "The book was read by her," where "read" indicates a completed action.
Gerunds, formed with "ing," function as nouns in a sentence, like in "Swimming is fun," where "swimming" is the subject. Past participles with "ed" do not function as nouns but can be used as adjectives, for example, "The finished project" where "finished" describes "project."
While "ing" forms can also denote habitual actions or general activities (e.g., "I enjoy reading"), "ed" forms are straightforward in denoting that an action took place in the past (e.g., "He walked to the store").
"Ing" is versatile, used for continuous actions and nouns, whereas "ed" is used for actions completed in the past or as adjectives describing completed states.

Comparison Chart


Present participle, gerund
Past participle, simple past



Usage in Sentences

"She is singing"
"She sang"


Describes ongoing action
Describes completed action

Additional Usage

Can be a noun (gerund)
Can be an adjective (past part.)

Compare with Definitions


Form used in continuous tenses.
They are studying for exams.


Used in the simple past tense of regular verbs.
He walked to the store yesterday.


Describes an activity in progress.
The dog is barking loudly.


Functions as an adjective to describe completed states.
The broken vase needs repair.


Indicates habitual actions.
I enjoy reading novels.


Form used in perfect tenses.
She has finished her homework.


Present participle indicating an ongoing action.
She is dancing at the party.


Past participle indicating a completed action.
The cake was baked perfectly.


Gerund used as a noun.
Running is his favorite hobby.


Used in passive constructions.
The letter was written by John.


A meadow, especially a low meadow near a river; water meadow.
Ings, glens, and fens of the Highlands.


Driver's ed.
Adult ed.


The letter for the ng sound lang=en in Pitman shorthand.




A pasture or meadow; generally one lying low, near a river.




Education uncountable


Impotence resulting from a man's inability to have or maintain an erection of his penis

Common Curiosities

Can "ing" words function as nouns?

Yes, they are called gerunds when used as nouns, e.g., "Swimming is fun."

How is "ed" used in verbs?

It forms the past participle and the simple past tense to indicate completed actions.

Are "ed" words ever used as adjectives?

Yes, past participles can function as adjectives, e.g., "a tired man."

What is an example of "ing" in a continuous tense?

"She is singing."

Do "ing" forms describe ongoing actions?

Yes, e.g., "She is reading."

What is the primary use of the "ing" suffix?

It forms present participles and gerunds to indicate ongoing actions or activities.

Do "ed" forms work in perfect tenses?

Yes, e.g., "She has finished."

Can "ing" forms indicate habitual actions?

Yes, e.g., "I enjoy reading."

Is "ed" used in passive voice constructions?

Yes, e.g., "The book was read by her."

Can "ing" form be used after prepositions?

Yes, e.g., "She is good at dancing."

Do "ed" forms work in both active and passive voices?

Yes, e.g., "He was tired" (passive).

What is an example of "ed" in the past tense?

"He walked to the store."

Do "ed" forms indicate completed actions?

Yes, e.g., "He completed his task."

Are "ing" forms used in progressive tenses?

Yes, e.g., "They are studying."

Can "ing" and "ed" forms be used together?

Yes, e.g., "She is interested in learning."

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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