Mangoes are refreshing. An adjective form is needed here. But "auxiliary verb" + " verb-ing" act as progressive tense. It may imply that mangoes are refreshing(something, if transitive OR even if intransitive, they are just refreshing). So is "refreshing" acting as an adjective here. If yes then is it not violating the general concept of "auxiliary verb" + " verb-ing", acting as progressive tense? Definitely, "refreshing" is not a gerund here.

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    Do the simple test. Mangoes are refreshing. So are oranges. Now let's compare their refreshingnesses. If refreshing is an adjective, we'll have to say "mangoes are more refreshing than oranges". If it's a verb, we'll have to say "mangoes are refreshing more than oranges" instead. And frankly, I do not know a single person who'd opt for the latter.
    – RegDwigнt
    Jul 9, 2014 at 19:16
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    Good test. Another test is direct object; Mangoes are refreshing me hasta be progressive (not the "progressive tense", btw, but the progressive construction) because adjectives can't take objects. Another is very; only adjectives can take very: Mangoes are very refreshing but not *Mangoes are very refreshing me. Jul 9, 2014 at 19:41
  • @RegDwigнt ok but you have not answered the second part of my question : if it is acting as an adjective, then is it not violating the general idea of helping verb + verb ing = progressive tense?
    – tushain
    Jul 9, 2014 at 21:03
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    Flying aeroplanes can be dangerous. Jul 9, 2014 at 21:22
  • @EdwinAshworth- very nice!
    – Jim
    Jul 11, 2014 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


Participles of many verbs have an 'independent' status as deverbal adjectives—adjectives which have lost any sense of being verbs. This is frequent with verbs which signify effecting a state in a person:

This is an interesting question.
I'm no longer interested.

This is a boring story.
I'm bored.

What an annoying child!
Mary seems to be annoyed this morning.

The participles of refresh behave exactly the same way:

These mangoes are refreshing.
I feel quite refreshed this morning.

  • each of your examples are not related to the question. what about : This is interesting. This is boring. This is annoying. I have no doubt in : Mangoes are refreshing fruits. But i have doubt in : Mangoes are refreshing.
    – tushain
    Jul 9, 2014 at 20:55
  • @tushain I apologize for not making myself clear; see my addition. Jul 9, 2014 at 21:30

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