How to Describe a Person in English

Have you ever been asked to talk about your friends, describe someone you know very well, or someone you just met once? Probably most of us went through a situation when we had to describe someone.

Yet, many ESL speakers find it difficult to talk about someone in English. So, if you have ever wondered what you should point out while describing someone and how to put your thoughts about them in words, this post is for you.

To describe a person, you are expected to use specific words, especially adjectives, to talk about their appearance, personality, cultural belongings, behavior, ideology, mentality, profession, skills, possessions, etc. It would be best if you tried to avoid discussing negative and controversial issues so that the person doesn’t feel offended.

Table of Contents

Describing the Appearance of a Person in English

While describing someone’s appearance in English, you usually talk about their exterior features. However, to describe how they look, you should talk about their general appearance, specific physical features, dresses, and even fashion senses. So now, let’s point out some features of a person that you can mention while describing someone’s appearance.

The following table shows some apparent features of a person and how to talk about these features in English using different descriptive adjectives.

Apparent Features of a  Person Example Sentences
General appearance The girl was beautiful.
The boy was handsome.
Clothes and fashion sense The gown she was wearing was classy.
He is old but stylish.
Overall build The boy was slim.
The man was stocky.
Height He was a bit short of fulfilling requirements as a candidate.
She is of average height.
Complexion He was dark and handsome.
Her complexion was fair.
Age The salesperson was a middle-aged man.
He is a teenager.
Facial features
Face shape
I like her chubby face.
He is handsome with almond-shaped eyes.
Her nose was bumpy.
She looks cute with rounded ears.
The lady’s face was long with high arch eyebrows.
His chin is diamond-shaped.
Hair The girl has got long, straight blonde hair.
She is a blonde.
Facial hair
The wrestler had a full beard.
Chevron mustache is my uncle’s signature feature.
The table shows how to describe someone’s general appearance

Describing the Personality of a Person in English

Someone’s personality is built on their core characteristics, qualities, or attributes. Therefore, to describe someone’s personality, you should use some personality adjectives. Those adjectives can be positive or negative.

However, I would always recommend avoiding negative adjectives as much as possible while describing someone’s personality in English. Here are some example sentences that show how to use personality adjectives to describe a person in English.

  • He is a man with a brave personality.
  • My friend Ricky is a very sensible person.
  • She is kind and helpful.
  • I like the way he is organized all the way.
  • The rickshaw-puller was honest.

Here is a list of 50 common personality adjectives we commonly use to describe someone’s personality while describing a person in English.

Honest, brave, courageous, creative, non-judgemental, affectionate, hard-working, diligent, industrious, adventurous, optimistic, humorous, witty, dynamic, persistent, easy-going, impartial, emotional, philosophical, efficient, broad-minded, brilliant, meritorious, bright, energetic, intelligent, enthusiastic, intellectual, polite, well-mannered, extroverted, introverted, bold, charismatic, charming, fun-loving, practical, faithful, trustworthy, clever, communicative, friendly, frank, rational, reliable, loyal, generous, modest, romantic, candid.  
Adjectives to describe personality

Describing Cultural Belongings of a Person in English

The culture a person belongs to determines their characteristics in so many ways. For example, suppose someone is born and brought up in a religious family and a community at large. It’s quite obvious that they will possess a spiritual mind. Their activities and lifestyle will be governed by spirituality.

So, to talk about someone, you can obviously talk about their cultural belongings. There are different cultural aspects that you can talk about while describing a person in English.

The following table shows the different cultural belongings of a person and how to talk about those features in English.   

Cultural Belongings of a Person Example Sentences
Native language Bengali is her mother tongue.
He speaks Russian.
Family structure He was raised in an extended family.
She lived in a nuclear family.
Beliefs and practices She believes in equality between men and women.
He loves to celebrate different festivals.
Religion He is a Muslim.
She believes in Christianity.
Arts & Literature She likes poetry.
He is interested in abstract painting.
Food habits She is fond of fast food.
He loves pizza with extra cheese.
Political view He believed in democracy.
She is a communist leader.
Describing someone’s cultural belongings

Describing Behavior & Attitudes of a Person in English

While describing someone in English, talking about their behavior is a must. How people act and respond to different situations gives us ideas about their behavior. Let’s see some examples of how you can talk about someone’s behavior while describing them in English.

Behavior type Example sentences
Personal behavior He is a man of an assertive attitude.
I like his inventive attitude.
He is a reserved person.
General Good behavior He is very protective of his wife.
Her kindness is praiseworthy.
His patience is appreciable.
Positive Social Behavior He is a pleasant human being all the way.
Her sincerity amazed me.
She is considerate to the juniors.
Negative Social Behavior He is rude at times.
She is so irritating.
You may not like her bossy attitude.
Unacceptable Behavior He gets angry too early.
She is as lazy as anything.
He becomes abusive when in a rage.
Adjectives to describe behavior and attitude

Describing Preferences of a Person in English

Talking about someone’s preferences can give the other person a good idea about their overall personality. What someone likes or dislikes tells us how the person is. While talking about preferences to describe a person in English, you can talk about anything they prefer, such as food, clothes, places to visit, movies to watch, etc. Let’s see some example sentences to describe one’s preferences.

  • Rachel is very fond of vegetables.
  • He hates carrots and cucumber.
  • Monty likes to spend time with friends.
  • She doesn’t prefer bus journeys.
  • My ESL teacher prefers coffee to tea.
  • He dislikes visiting doctors.
  • Mike is not an early riser. He likes to work at night.
  • Krish doesn’t care for dark chocolates.
  • Marshal loves poetry more than any other form of literature.
  • Such a kind of music is not her cup of tea.
  • Sara likes comedies of Shakespeare, not tragedies.
  • She is a vegetarian. Cabbage is her favorite item.

Describing Your Relationship with a Person in English

While describing someone in English, you can certainly talk about the relationship between you and them. It’s not about just describing one’s appearance and personality, there is someone more. If you talk about your friends, you can mention how close you people are. Are you best friends?

Likewise, when you talk about other people, you can talk about the relationship between you and them. You may talk about how long you people have known each other. Let’s see some examples of this kind.

  • John is a very good human being. He is my best friend too.
  • It’s been ten years since I met David. He is very honest.
  • My younger brother is a painter. He is very creative.
  • The teacher we are talking about is my aunt. She is very cooperative.
  • I think Rana can cook this dish for you very well. I know that he is a good cook because he is my cousin.

Describing Feelings and Emotions of a Person in English

Expressing your feeling is easy, but what about talking about others’ feelings and emotions while describing someone in English? It’s not that easy. So, you cannot be sure how someone feels at different times or what their emotional responses would be.

You can only talk about the feelings & emotions of those people who you know well. They can be your friends, family members, or someone you have known for a long time. However, you can still only guess about someone else’s feelings and emotions.

The following examples show how you can describe someone’s feelings and emotions while talking about a person in English.

  • She comes happy if you gift her flowers.
  • He gets angry if his students are not sincere.
  • My friend Ratul is always a sad person. I wish he could get rid of his frustration.
  • I found him upset, standing beside the shop.
  • She becomes overjoyed when she comes here.

Describing Personal Life of a Person in English

If you know someone personally, you can talk about their personal life while talking about them with someone else. However, it would be best if you did not share anything too private. For example, you can mention their marital status, children, family members, etc.

Let’s see some example sentences to talk about someone’s personal life.

  • He has decided to remain single forever.
  • As far as I know, she has two kids.
  • She is happily married with a kid.
  • They are newly married.
  • Razia is engaged to Roman.
  • He is in a relationship.
  • He has two brothers and a sister.
  • Her parents live in Newyork.

Describing Professional Affiliation of a Person in English

Profession identity is one of the significant features of a person. Therefore, while describing someone in English, you may talk about their professional life when applicable. For example, suppose you have met someone for the first time on a train. You two talked and had a great time together during the whole journey.

You came to know that he is a professional singer. Suppose you feel like sharing something about that person with someone else. In that case, besides his appearance and other traits, you may also talk about his profession.

I’ll share some example sentences so you can discuss one’s profession while describing them in English.

  • He is the finest doctor I have ever visited.
  • I appreciate the way she deals with customers. She is the best Customer Care Executive here.
  • He is an outstanding software engineer.
  • She is one of the best ESL teachers at this institute.
  • He is a chef at a five-star hotel.
  • Her professional affiliations include teaching and training salespeople.
  • She is a professional cricketer—the national women’s cricket team captain.

Describing Education and Skills of a Person in English

When we talk about one’s profession, we can certainly talk about their education and skills to give some more ideas about them. From one’s academic background, we can easily understand what they were into for a long time.

Let’s see some examples of how you can talk about someone’s educational qualifications and skills.

  • He is an MA in (ELT) English Language Teaching.
  • She recently completed her graduation in marketing.
  • My friend Ramen is a Ph.D. holder.
  • She is very good at writing.
  • His presentation skills are commendable.

Describing Possessions of a Person in English

While describing a person in English, besides other things, you can talk about their possessions. Especially when someone has any rare collection of anything or extraordinary possession, you can talk about that.

Examples of such sentences can be like:

  • He has twenty motorbikes of different brands. He is a bike freak.
  • My sister still has an antique collection of furniture. Some of them are more than fifty years old.
  • I really appreciate his interest in musical instruments. He has more than one hundred instruments in his studio.
  • He lives in his own flat that he bought last month. He also has a bungalow outside the city.
  • She is the youngest billionaire in the world. There are five private jets in her possession.

In Conclusion

While describing someone in English, you should be polite in your choice of words, tone, and body language. You may talk about anything unless you sound rude or offensive. Whether you talk about appearance, personality, or mannerism, politeness is the key.

Thanks for reading!

Happy learning!

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 7 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

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