Describing a Person in English

We all have something unique that identifies us. We can have brown, dark, or grey hair. Our legs can be long or short and we can have a large, medium or small constitution in general. As in many other languages, the physical description of a person in English is accompanied by many adjectives with many nuances.

On a day-to-day basis, we need to be able to describe people, even when we do not remember their name. In this article, we will explore the description of people in English and give you several examples so that you can describe those around you. The only thing that you will have to do it remember how people look. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

The Structure of the Description of a Person in English

To describe people, remember to use the verb to be and to conjugate it properly depending on who you are speaking about. Remember that for the present tense you can use the verb as follows:



You, We, They


He, She, It


After stating the person and using the correct form of the verb, add the adjective. For example:

María is tall.

Remember that in English, adjectives have no gender. So, if you are going to describe María and John, you can use the adjective tall without making any changes to its form.

Now, if you want to refer to someone whose name you do not know, the structure is a bit different. The adjective will always go before the subject, for example:

The tall girl who is sitting over there.

Qualifying Adjectives

As you can see, describing a person is very simple in English. All you have to do is learn as many adjectives as you can and use them whenever the opportunity presents itself. Remember that practice makes perfect. Here is a list of adjectives that have to do with the physical appearance of a person, but it is important to note that there are many more adjectives that describe other qualities, such as character or mood.

Beautiful. You can use this for people and for objects.

Ugly. Definitely not friendly at all. Use it with care.

Attractive. With this adjective, you can say that someone attracts you. You will use it when you are telling your most intimate love secrets to your best friend.

Handsome. This is reserved almost entirely for men and means beautiful.

Cute. This adjective means adorable and you can also use it for animals. If you think your cat has what it takes to conquer the internet, you can say, “My cat is cute.

Gorgeous. This is the non plus ultra of the adjectives in terms of beauty. It means beautiful, dazzling.

Presentable. Use this adjective when a person is nice to look at, regardless of whether you find them attractive or not.

Scruffy. This is the opposite of the previous adjective. We use it with people who do not have a good personal appearance or who do not have very good personal hygiene.

Short. If your height is less than your teammates, you are the short person in the group. This adjective is not offensive.

Tall. This is the opposite of short. If you have to look down to see the faces of others, you are tall.

Thin. With this adjective, you can describe those who are not fat. It is informal, so you do not want to use it with people you have just met.

Slender. This is similar to the previous one, only it is more respectful. Use it to describe a person who is thin and healthy.

Skinny. Be careful with this, since it is used to describe a very thin person who does not seem healthy. This definitely has a place in the list of adjectives that do not sound friendly.

Large. This word describes someone with a higher than average weight or who is overweight. It is not offensive.

Fat. This is like the previous one, only very offensive. Know it, but do not use it.

Obese. It is also not appropriate to use this adjective to describe overweight people.

Stocky. This word describes a person who is short and corpulent.

Well-built. There are two types of people who go to the gym: those who exercise and those are in funny videos of falls. This adjective is suitable for those who have worked on the muscles of their body well.

Now you know something about how to describe a person in English, but if you are interested in further enriching your vocabulary to express yourself better and more appropriately, have you considered taking an online English course? ABA English puts at your disposal its online course, which has been proven effective. It includes 144 free video classes and the same number of short films that will allow you to advance your knowledge and handling of English in an entertaining, consistent, and practical way.

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One comment

  1. Hi,
    Is there a lesson about the description of the hair, eyes…

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