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In a website profile, I would like to mention the topics I am interested in.

Which one should I use?

  • Interested topics: Technology, Reading, etc. (Is it about the past?)

  • Interesting topics: Technology, Reading, etc.

Even though this question looks simple, I think I have fundamental problem of understanding these kind of words.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Which one I should use?

Interested topics: Technology, Reading, ...etc. does it talk about the past?

Interesting topics: Technology, Reading, ...etc.

Grammatically, the correct answer is "interesting topics". See the bottom of this answer though for a suggestion for improvement.

Even though this question looks simple, I think I have fundamental problem of understanding these kind of words.

Many learners of English as a second language have problems getting the distinction between ing and ed adjectives right. But the basic rule is actually very simple. "Interested", "bored", "frightened", and all the other -ed adjectives describe an emotion. "Interesting", "boring", "frightening", and all the other -ing adjectives describe the cause of an emotion.

This book is boring (cause of emotion) => this book causes me to feel bored (emotion)

This person is frightening (cause of emotion) => this person causes me to feel frightened (emotion)

Thus, "these topics are interesting" => "interesting topics"

"I am interested in these topics" => "topics I am interested in"

Interested topics: Technology, Reading, ...etc. does it talk about the past?

Here "interested" is an adjective formed from the past participle, so it does not describe the past.

However, if your question was about how to phrase this, a better way would be to ditch the word "topics" and just use "interests":

Interests: technology, reading, goldfish keeping.

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Good answer. +1 –  Kalamane Jul 21 '11 at 21:52
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