Describe people and personality with these advanced adjectives ⚡️
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So we're gonna take some really common personality adjectives, adjectives that we use all of the time and we're gonna go bigger.
Right we're gonna level up your vocabulary and we're gonna look into some more interesting and advanced ways to express these ideas and describe people instead.
As usual, I've made a workbook that you can download to help you practise. It's free, it's full of all of the example sentences and the pronunciation points that I'm going to teach you today so it's going to help you to study and use these adjectives accurately yourself. The link to get it is down below in the description. As soon as you sign up, it'll arrive straight in your inbox and you'll be ready to study with me.
Let's get into the lesson!
This is friendly John. John can talk to anyone, everyone loves having him around. And he's always the first person invited to a party because he's so friendly.
But what other words can we use to describe him? Drop an adjective down in the comments, an adjective that you would use instead of friendly.
I would say that John is quite charming. Charming.
Pay attention to that CH sound at the beginning of the word. Charming. It's that big open mouth vowel, charming.
Charming people can talk to anyone and their conversations are fun and interesting, it's so easy to talk to charming people.
- It's so easy to talk to John. He's charming.
The structure that we're using here is really simple. Subject, linking verb and adjective.
He is charming.
But you can also say that John is a charming guy or a charming person.
If he's so friendly and he's so charming then he's probably quite sociable. Hear the stressed syllable there? Sociable.
Sociable people love being around other people. They usually seek them out and they seem to thrive in conversations.
- John loves going to all the events and all the parties. He is sociable.
For natural pronunciation practice, let's use the contraction here and say he's sociable.
Now because the two consonants are the same, the same sound, they merge together.
He is sociable becomes he's sociable. He's sociable.
And lastly, friendly people like John can be described as welcoming.
Now for those of you who struggle with this sound really focus on that sound. No teeth involved, no teeth touching.
If you need to, get a little bit of air from deep down in your stomach and push that out to make the sound. Welcoming.
Someone who's welcoming is going to make you feel like you belong there the moment you walk into the room. They make you feel accepted and happy.
- He's so welcoming. The minute we walked into the room he came over to give us a big hug and a huge smile.
Meet Sally. She's fun. Sally is the first one to get up to dance when the music plays. She loves travelling and going to different cafes and restaurants and if you're having a bad day, she'll usually have a joke or two up her sleeve to cheer you up.
There are some great adjectives that you can use to describe people like Sally. If you can think of any, let me know down in the comments below.
But my first one is chirpy. And there's that CH sound again. Chirpy.
Notice specifically that that vowel sound in the stressed syllable is not a short sound it's ER as in her.
Chirpy not chippy or chirpy. Chirpy. Try it.
If someone's chirpy, they're really happy, they're lively, they're excited about the day ahead.
- She looked so chirpy when she arrived at the office today!
Now I'm using the verb looked here but it doesn't mean that it was the colour of her hair or clothes or her facial features that made her look chirpy.
It just means that she's showing the qualities of someone who is happy and lively and that it comes across in this way.
And we often use verbs like this when we don't know for sure about that personality. You can tell what they're like by little small things, the things that they do and the way that they act.
Another really great adjective to describe someone who's fun is to say that they're adventurous. Listen to that stressed syllable, adventurous.
So adventurous people are the ones who are always willing to try new and different things which makes life exciting and fun.
- We always have a good time when Sally organises our trips because she's quite adventurous.
We do things that we wouldn't normally do.
The last adjective that I've chosen to describe someone who is fun is witty.
Now I wonder if you've heard this adjective before. Witty.
I'm sure you know someone who's quite witty, who is quick-witted. They're the people who are really quick to respond and they're really funny when they speak just instantly, they have great humorous calls.
Sometimes we call it banter when you can have a really great conversation back and forth with someone.
They're smart, they make you laugh, they're entertaining, you know they're really fun to talk to.
- Oh Sally? I love chatting with Sally. She's so witty and entertaining.
Meet kind Ella. If you don't understand how something works, she'll happily take the time to explain it to you. She'll share her lunch with you, she'll help you out with some extra cash if you need it.
If you know someone like Ella, you can definitely say that this person is kind but another way to describe her is generous.
Let's break that down a little.
That sound is the same consonant sound as at the start of jam or jump.
Generous. Where's the stress? Which syllable has the stress? Generous. Much stronger on the first syllable, right?
Generous people are usually happy to share their time or their energy or their money with you because they're quite giving.
- Ella seems like a really generous person. She often brings biscuits and cakes into the office to share with everyone.
Now I'm using a different verb there, aren't I?
Seems, is, looks and seems are all linking verbs so they're words that give more information about the subject and in this context, seem has a really similar meaning to look.
We're taking a guess or we're assuming something about the person because of the behaviour that we observe in them.
We're saying that the person has said or has done some things that make us feel like they are a certain way. It feels like they're that person, they seem like a generous person.
Another great adjective is considerate. Where's the stress there? And importantly, where is there not stress?
Considerate. It's a short vowel sound but the other ones drop back, we hear that schwa sound coming in again.
Considerate. Considerate people show concern for others, they think about how a situation or something might affect someone else.
- Ella seems considerate. She often offers to drop her colleagues home from work when it's raining.
Thoughtful is our last adjective here. Listen to that vowel sound in the stressed syllable, thoughtful like in door.
Thoughtful. Thoughtful people are always thinking about others around them, they're paying attention to them, they're thinking about what they might need or what they might want.
- Ella organised a party on my last day in the office. She is so thoughtful.
This is Ray.
He's really understanding. When there's a disagreement between people, Ray is the person who can see both sides.
He's the colleague or the manager who will give you a break if you've had a rough day. You could definitely describe him as compassionate.
Listen again for that stress, compassionate. And importantly, where there is less stress where you see those schwa sounds.
Compassionate is similar to considerate where you're really thinking about the people around you and you're doing things to show them that you care or in Ray's case, that you understand their situation. There's a warmth and there's comfort that comes with being near to or surrounded by compassionate people.
- She had no chance of getting the job but Ray spent a long time explaining to her why she didn't get the job. He's incredibly compassionate.
Just like the word really, using the adverb incredibly before an adjective is gonna really lift your description up. It's gonna emphasise that meaning of the adjective.
He's incredibly compassionate.
Here's a great one.
Nice one. Now I can hear you wondering, questioning in your head. Pathetic is a negative adjective right but empathetic is a positive one. Empathetic people, they understand how someone else feels because they can imagine themselves in that same situation.
They can put themselves in someone else's shoes, you know that idiom right? To put yourself in someone else's shoes. It's the perfect idiom for the adjective empathetic.
- Ray is a great person to talk to when you're going through a rough time. He's so empathetic.
We're getting a little more serious here.
We have diplomatic. Diplomatic. Where's that stress? Diplomatic.
People who are diplomatic can deal with others in a really sensitive way, in a way that doesn't upset them.
- Ray managed to create a peaceful resolution for both sides. He's really diplomatic.
And again, I've just thrown an adverb in there to modify that adjective, it's a really great way to emphasise the meaning of the adjective.
He's really diplomatic. He's incredibly compassionate.
This is Mia. She's smart, she's the person you go to when you've got a problem that you need help solving. She's always wanting to learn more. She has lots of different ideas and goals and she's good at making decisions.
Can you think of any other adjectives to describe Mia?
Mia is astute. Astute.
So that second syllable is the one that's stressed and in there we can hear a little sound that's been added.
Can you hear it? Astute.
That's in my accent and in most British English accents but you will hear some American accents pronouncing this word as astute.
Now, what is astute? What's an astute person? They're really good at judging situations and people quite quickly and they use their knowledge to benefit them in some way.
- If you know anyone who invested in Bitcoin early on, they're astute. They were paying attention and making good decisions early on.
She's also ambitious. Notice that t-i-o-u-s at the end is pronounced Ambitious.
That middle syllable is the stressed one.
Ambitious people are really determined to succeed. They're driven to reach their goals.
- Mia's actually determined to be CEO of the company. She's a really ambitious woman.
Here's another great adjective.
Notice that Z sound? Resourceful not resource-ful but resourceful. Resourceful.
Resourceful people are able to use whatever they have at the time to solve problems or to reach their goals so clever people, smart people are often quite resourceful and as we know, Mia is quite a resourceful person.
- The projector wasn't working during her presentation so she printed out copies quickly and gave them to everyone. She's very resourceful.
She solves problems quickly.
This structure, one that we mentioned earlier actually, Mia is a resourceful person, is slightly more formal.
It's still really frequently used, it sounds natural but it's probably a little bit more professional than just saying she's resourceful.
Mia's resourceful. She's quite a resourceful person. Just a little bit more professional.
And this is Sam. He's hard-working. He completes his tasks on time, he produces high-quality work. He stays late when he needs to and he takes charge of projects to make sure that they get done, he puts all of his effort into his work.
Now there are some really great adjectives to describe someone like Sam. We would say he's quite organised.
Listening for the stress.
Now think of someone in your life who is quite organised.
These people make lists, they keep a diary of all of their deadlines. They're always on time, everything is neatly arranged and in order. He looks like an organised person, all of his files are colour-coded.
So again, this structure is a little longer, it's just as effective and has the same meaning as she looks organised. It's just a little more formal, right?
- He looks like an organised man.
- He looks like an organised person.
Hard-working people are often quite reliable. Hear that little short tiny little schwa sound in there? Reliable.
No matter what happens, you can always rely on someone who is reliable, you can count on them, you can depend on them.
They'll always make sure that they are there when they need to be, that they do what they need to do.
So if you have a really urgent project to finish then you definitely want someone reliable, someone like Sam.
- Sam looks like a reliable person.
And one of my absolute favourite qualities in my team, efficient people.
So that C actually makes a SH sound like ship. Efficient.
You hear that short vowel sound unstressed in the first syllable. Efficient. And you hear that schwa sound in the third syllable.
When you're efficient, you complete your tasks on time, you complete your projects quickly and accurately.
- Sam looks like he's quite efficient, he always finishes his work ahead of time.
Wow, nice work! You just up-levelled your vocabulary. Eighteen brand new adjectives that you've learned and you've practised with today. If you missed any of the adjectives or you want to review some of the different structures then make sure you download the free workbook that I've put together for you.
The link is in the description below, it's got all of the adjectives from today's lesson, their definitions and a couple of practice activities as well to help you put them into use.
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