Lesson Summary 

In this lesson, I'll share some of my favourite English adjectives with you! Ones that I use regularly, that help to add more information when I'm speaking about someone! To be expressive, to show emotion and feeling and to sound more interesting when you use English, your need to start pushing your vocabulary further. Saying something is nice or beautiful is good… But adjectives like magnificent, remarkable or inspirational are so much stronger and more meaningful! You already know what an adjective is – there are lots of them in English! They are used to describe or give more information about a noun. One of the most common mistakes that English learners make is about where to put an adjective in a sentence. In English, you need to use adjectives like this: a/an + adjective + noun A remarkable woman. A thoughtful child. This structure is very common too: Noun/Pronoun + (be) +adjective He was a generous man. Sally is very sophisticated. So in this lesson, I’m going to share 8 of my favourite adjectives with you, to help you build your vocabulary for describing people! 1. Exceptional 2. Aggressive 3. Responsible 4. Generous 5. Independant 6. Sophisticated 7. Intelligent 8. Valuable CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.

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Video Transcript
Section 1
Hello! This is Emma from mmmEnglish. In this lesson, I want to share some of my favourite English adjectives with you! Specifically, adjectives used to describe people.

Now, saying that someone is nice or friendly is good but adjectives ‘incredible', ‘generous' or ‘inspiring' are just so much more stronger and more meaningful.

To be expressive, to show emotion and feeling and to sound more interesting when you use English, your need to start pushing your vocabulary further.

Now, this lesson is sponsored by the mmmEnglish imitation lessons and later on I'm going to tell you how you can build your vocabulary and your speaking skills to describe people using these lessons up here.

Okay, so you already know what an adjective is – there are lots of them in English! They're used to describe or to give more informationa about a noun. They're also a really exciting and interesting part of the language. They help you to be really expressive, to add colour and emotion to your English.

Now, before we start let me just remind you about where these adjectives should go in an English sentence, because this is one of the most common mistakes that English learners make in English, you need to use your adjectives like this:

a/an + adjective + noun

A remarkable woman.
A thoughtful child.

We can also use adjectives with this structure:

noun/pronoun + ‘be' + adjective

He is so generous
Sally is so sophisticated.

So, in this lesson I'm going to share eight of my favourite adjectives with you to help you build your vocabulary for describing people. Now, I'm including positive and negative adjectives here and lots of them can be used to describe places and things too but the focus in this lesson is on describing people.

I'll link to another lesson about describing places and things at the end of this lesson.

So, let's start with ‘exceptional'. Exceptional. Say it with me: exceptional.

Notice where the stress is there. On the second syllable, exceptional. The stress is always important with adjectives because pushing down on that stress syllable will help you to emphasise it and make the meaning even stronger.

When someone's exceptional, they're much greater or much better than usual, especially when you're talking about their skills or their intelligence. So, it's a much stronger way of saying that someone is good!

She is an exceptional student.
Tom is an exceptional lawyer, we highly recommend him.
They are exceptional musicians. I'd love to see them play again.

Now, a synonym for ‘exceptional' is ‘remarkable‘. It has the same strong meaning. So, now you've got two extra adjectives to use! Exceptional, remarkable.

What about ‘aggressive‘?

Now, this adjective definitely describes negative behaviour, someone's negative behaviour. So, when someone is being angry or rude and they're doing it in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, then this is a good adjective to use.

Now, aggressive can be physical, like someone wants to hit you or hurt you. Or, they could be arguing with you and being angry or rude with their words.

Sarah's colleague can be a bit aggressive, don't you think?


Responsible. Responsible. Hear how those unstressed syllables reduce down?

Now, this adjective can be used in a few different ways. A responsible person is someone who can be trusted to do the right thing. They're reliable and sensible.

She's very responsible for an eight year old.

But it can also mean that someone is in charge of making something happen or making sure that people are looked after.

Ben is responsible for that project. You'll have to ask him.
Mrs Brown is responsible for 28 children in her classroom.


Generous. Now, being generous is about giving more than what's expected. People can be generous with money or with gifts but they can also be generous with their time and assistance. It's not just about cash!

Thank you for the tickets. You're so generous.
He's very generous with his time, he'll help you if you need it.
She gave some very generous donations to several charities.


Independent. Independent. An independent person doesn't rely on others for money or help. They prefer to do things on their own, in their own way. So, you can use it to describe children:

Tom is a very independent boy. He likes to do everything on his own.
She's a fiercely independent woman.
He was thrilled that he was finally financially independent.


Sophisticated. Say it with me! Sophisticated. Now, a sophisticated person is someone who understands and is a part of the modern world. They're often very up-to-date with the latest trends in culture and fashion and the arts. Sophisticated people tend to be pretty cool people!

Her daughter is very sophisticated.
The public is becoming more sophisticated when it comes to drinking coffee.


Intelligent. Intelligent. Now, you probably know this adjective already but I've included it because I want you to start using it more! It's a synonym of smart or clever but it's just a more sophisticated way of saying it! It means that someone is good at thinking quickly and clearly and understanding complex ideas.

Paul is a very intelligent guy.
Sarah's the most intelligent person on our team.


Valuable. Notice this ‘u' here, when I pronounce this word. Say it with me. There is a /j/ sound here. It's not val-oo-ble or val-oo-ua-ble, it's valuable.

Now, you often hear this adjective being used for things like jewellery or cars or houses, to tell us that something costs a lot of money or it's important to someone but it's also an excellent adjective for a person and it's often used in a professional context like at work or at your job.

So, valuable in this context is not necessarily about money but about how useful a person is.

Crystal and Yana are both valuable members of my team.
Thanks to our valuable volunteers who donate their time every year.

Can you think of someone who's valuable, at your job or at your school?

Anyway, they are my favourite adjectives for describing people. What do you think about that list? I'm sure you can think of some others that you would like to add, so make sure you do it in the comments below this video.

Now, I have a whole series of imitation lessons designed to help you improve your pronunciation and your English expression by imitating a native English speaker and that just means copying their pronunciation, their expression.

And luckily for you, all of these lessons are about describing people. So, you'll practise using lots of new vocabulary in context with the correct pronunciation and expression. And you can learn more about these lessons by clicking this link up here! But they're really great ways for improving your speaking skills.

That's it for this lesson. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel just down here, there are new lessons every week. But since you're already here, why don't you check out some of my other lessons? You can try one of the imitation lessons right here or, keep practising with adjectives just here.

Thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next lesson. Bye for now!


mmmEnglish Video Lessons are a series of video lessons created to build confidence in English learners and focus on English in daily life. Download them and watch them anywhere! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to get my new videos, and come and say hi on my Facebook page!!