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Describing people

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How to describe people

The person is...

  • Age:
    old, young, elderly, middle-aged
    a teenager, twenty, twentish, about twenty, in her early 30s, in her mid 30s, in his late 40s

  • Height:
    tall, short, of medium height

  • Build:
    fat, thin, well-built, slim, of medium build

  • Look:
    good-looking, pretty, beautiful (women only), handsome (men only), plain, ugly

The person has...

  • Hair:
    short, mid-length, long
    straight, wavy, curly
    red, brown, auburn, black, fair, blond, grey, white

  • Eyes:
    blue, green, grey, brown

  • Distinctive features:
    a moustache, a beard, a big nose, glasses

Adjectives to describe people

Intellectual ability

Ability

Lacking ability

Clever, in a negative way

intelligent
bright
smart
able
gifted
clever
shrewd
talented
brainy (colloquial)
stupid
foolish
simple
silly
brainless (colloquial)
dumb (colloquial)
clueless (colloquial)
cunning
crafty
sly

Attitudes towards life

  • Point of view: optimistic or pessimistic
  • Outward-looking or inward looking: extroverted or introverted
  • Calm or not calm: relaxed or tense, anxious
  • Practical, not dreamy: sensible, down to earth
  • Feeling things intensely: sensitive

Attitudes towards other people

  • Enjoying other's company: sociable, gregarious, congenial
  • Disagreeing with others: quarrelsome, argumentative
  • Relaxed in attitude towards self and others: easy-going, even-tempered, affable
  • Not polite to others: impolite, rude, ill-mannered
  • Telling the truth / keeping promises: honest, trustworthy, reliable, sincere
  • Unhappy if others have what one does not: jealous, envious

Idioms describing people

Positive and negative qualities

Positive Negative
She has a heart of gold. (very kind generous)

He's as good as gold. (generous, helpful, well-behaved)

He's as hard as nails. (no sympathy for others)

She's kind of a cold fish. (distant, unfriendly)

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