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How to describe people in English?

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To express your thoughts on somebody or for that matter describing yourself could be a difficult task for most English learners. Even native speakers find it difficult to talk about themselves in their language. Basically, you can talk about personality, likes /dislikes, and mannerisms and professional work experience. In fact, there are many ways through which you can describe an individual.

Be polite


If you describe somebody as fat or black, you may come across rude and arrogant. Therefore, always make sure to use your English vocabulary cautiously. Instead of describing a person as fat, you can say she is on the heavier side. If you do have to describe your dislike about somebody, you can make a statement like, ‘In my opinion, this actor is not very handsome.’ This way you are making apparent that your opinion might differ from others and you are cool with the fact.

describe people in English

Describing physical appearance…

When describing somebody’s physical appearance, make use of words, such as: Curvy, tall, slim, medium-height, overweight, attractive, pretty, beautiful, young, old, etc. Think about how you would feel if somebody described you with these words. Your common sense will help you in making the correct judgment in selecting the right word. For instance: Megha is an overweight girl but her features are very attractive.


Describing feelings…

When describing somebody’s feelings, make use of words, such as: happy, sad, anxious, worried, bored, glad, surprised, disappointed, stressed, relaxed, exhausted, excited, disgusted, etc. For instance, Megha was exhausted with her job, especially stressed due to long working hours.

Emotional characteristics…

When describing a person’s emotional state, you can make use of English words, such as: calm, confident, crazy, sensitive, serious, mean, cheerful, honest, moody, arrogant, happy, snobbish, extrovert, friendly, etc. For instance: Megha is an extrovert girl with an adventurous streak.

Handy guide to describing appearances…

Height – tall, short, average, normal, medium height

Build- skinny, underweight, chubby, slim, slender, plump

Hair – blonde, red hair, black hair, grey hair

Eyes – green, blue, grey, brown and dark eyes (we don’t say black eye).

For instance: Megha is a tall and chubby girl with medium-size black hair and dark eyes.

With such a description you can definitely make other person understand about the physical appearance of the other person.

Conclusion

At interviews, you will come across situations where you may be asked to describe your manager or your team. Make sure to use your common sense and pick the right words. An interviewer might not be interested in learning that your manager has grey eyes. At situations, like these, you have to describe a person’s emotional and work character. On the other hand, if you are being asked to describe your icon, you can go deep into physical appearance and use words to impress the interviewer. For practice, join an online spoken English class and learn the right way to describe people, situations and objects.

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By Chandar Madan

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