I am trying to understand why there is an -ing ending in amazing when used in a sentence like, "different countries have proven equally amazing".

Is it because amaze is a present participle verb or is it functioning as an adjective and the adverb is modifying the adjective?

Any help is appreciated.

  • Amazing is an adjective that came historically from a present participle (like frightening), just as amazed is an adjective that came historically from a past participle (like frightened). Both kinds of adjective are common in English. Commented Jun 19, 2014 at 1:46

1 Answer 1


When you inflect a verb so as to make it a participle you are turning it into an adjective—that is what a participle essentially is. Sometimes participles even come to be used as nouns (as many adjectives do), and even come full circle to wind up as verbs again, and those verbs in turn get to have participles of their own, like parenting. It’s the functional-shift Circle of Life.

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