How to Describe an Event in English

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We experience different incidents in our everyday lives and share them with others. Our life is full of events from school to work, home to streets. Some are exciting and pleasant, while others are unpleasant. However, some events are so memorable that we never forget them and tend to share them with others.

Well! Describing an event is like narrating a story that requires following a specific structure and some expressions to get it right. Are you wondering how to do it? No worries! In this post, I’ll talk about how to describe an event in English.

While describing an event, you are expected to maintain a sequence of the happenings and use the right words, just like a storyteller does. In addition, you must narrate all the little happenings with minute details and share your feelings and emotional response using appropriate English expressions, tone, and body language.

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Table of Contents

Describe the Time and Place of the Event

Talking about the time and place is crucial while describing an event. In stories, especially fiction, the time and place together are called setting. So, talking about the setting of an event helps to visualize the place and time of the incident.

The most common and effective style of describing an event starts with defining the event’s location. The more you can be specific about the site; the more your audience (people you are describing the event to) will be engaged with your description.

Let’s look at some example sentences you can use to talk about the place of an event while describing an event.

  • I used to live in an apartment in New Jersey then. It was a small studio apartment. One night, at around 12:30, while preparing my class lectures for the next day, I experienced…
  • I was standing in front of Bashundhara City Shopping Complex yesterday afternoon. Suddenly an older man came…
  • We were going to Cox’s Bazar through the Dhaka-Chittagong highway. When we passed Comilla University…
  • The accident occurred just beside my shop, around 5 p.m. Let me describe the whole event…
  • I met a weird person yesterday down the street in my neighborhood. I was walking on the pavement, and suddenly he stopped me…

Like location, mentioning the specific date or time of the event is equally important. Here are some examples of how you can talk about the time while describing an event.

  • Yesterday was a sunny day. But while I was coming home in the afternoon, it suddenly started…
  • It was around 3 o’clock in the morning. I woke up hearing a bizarre sound…
  • Last Monday evening, I witnessed a terrible accident near my office building.
  • The best memorable event of my life was my first day at school. It was in the year 1995…
  • The way we met for the first time last year at the university library was very interesting. Let me share what happened…

Talk about the People Involved in the Event

We already discussed how important it is to mention the time and place of an event. Similarly, talking about the people involved is crucial while describing an event. Whatever happens to you or you witness, it’s obvious that some people will be involved in most cases. Sometimes it can be your friends, relatives, or even some unknown people who you never met before.

Here are some examples of how you can talk about the people involved while describing an event.

  • Three of my friends and I went to Europe last year. We booked the hotel online, but unfortunately, we mistakenly selected the number of rooms. We needed two double rooms, but we booked only one by mistake. As it was a top-rated popular hotel, no other rooms were available. Then…
  • My cousins and I had a lot of fun at my sister’s wedding last year. Among them one particular incident I will never forget. When the groom arrived at the venue, all of my cousins…
  • I still can remember the orientation at the undergraduate program. I met my best friend Arnold there. Let me share the exciting story behind our first meeting…
  • I really enjoyed the last study tour with my ESL teachers and classmates. The teachers took good care of us. We had some great experiences over there—especially the BBQ night. I still can’t stop laughing when I remember what my bosom friend David did that night. We all knew that David was afraid of ghosts. So we planned…
  • On my last birthday, I got the biggest surprise ever in my life. I had no clue that all of my school friends had arranged a surprise get-together. On the evening of my birthday, one of my friends who lives abroad…

Describe Every Little Happening in Detail

While describing any event, sharing every little detail will help your audience get a clear and vivid image of the incident. You can obviously draw a picture of the event through your words.

Besides the place, time, and people, to describe an event, make sure you talk about other essential things that might help the narration.

For example, if you describe an accident, you can talk about what type of vehicle was there. You can also talk about how this accident occurred. Even you can talk about the type of accident—collision, head-on collision, car crash, a pile-up, etc.

Express Your Feelings & Emotional Response

Rather than just describing the events as it is, you can express your feelings and show an emotional response to that incident. For example, show that in your tone and body language if the event is something joyous.

If the event reminds you of any sadness, act accordingly. No one expects that you will talk about any bad experience with a smile on your face. You must show your true feeling to make your audience feel the same way.

Let’s see some examples that can be used to express one’s feelings and emotional response to an event while describing it.

  • I lost my passport yesterday while traveling. I am feeling so much worried…
  • I felt astonished when I got my passport back within 48 hours with the help of local police and a newspaper…
  • The wedding that I attended last week was my best friend’s. We, all our friends, had a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the acoustic music night the most…
  • I immediately called him out of excitement after getting the news of being selected. The experience I had during the audition will be one of the most memorable events of my life…
  • My elder brother surprised me with a new car! That was amazing. Particularly the way he revealed the secret was tremendous…

Maintain the Sequence of the Actions

While describing an event, you must maintain a sequence of the actions you experienced. You may consider the whole event a complete story. Thus you are expected to narrate it as a storyteller does. If you share any experience of your own, you can narrate the event from the first person’s point of view. Otherwise, depending on the narrator, you can use the second or third-person point of view.

First-person perspectiveI/WeI was a university student then. One day I received a call…
Second-person perspectiveYouYou didn’t know what happened that day. After you left the place, your mother came…
Third-person perspectiveShe/He/It/TheyShe was an 8-years old kid. One afternoon she was playing with a ball in the backyard. Suddenly…

You should tell the first things first and then gradually move to the next, maintaining a proper sequence. Otherwise, your audience can be left at a loss. To understand how to maintain chronological order while describing any experience, you can check this example story in which I described a bad day of my life.

Well! Now let’s see another example where I’ll describe a terrible accident I witnessed last year. See how I have put together the actions chronologically to describe that event.

It was June 6, last year, my birthday. After finishing my office, I attended a birthday party organized by my local students at ESL Advice Center. Unfortunately, while coming back home, I witnessed a terrible accident. I noticed that while a truck was rounding the corner near my house, it drove straight into a car. There were two kids in the car, along with their parents. I immediately called the police, and they rescued the passengers. All of them were severely injured. The police caught the truck driver and took him into their custody. I still can’t forget the incident.

Here, you may find some more words, phrases, and expressions to describe an accident.

Talk about the Consequences of the Event

It’s not all about describing an event; there can be something more. You can certainly talk about the consequence of the event. Whether the results or consequences are good or bad, you can share them if you feel to.

Here are some examples you can apply to talk about any event’s outcomes while describing it.

  • After losing my passport abroad, I had to go through a lot of trouble.
  • These books are the only belongings I always keep by my side in my room after losing him.
  • I still remember the day I became the man of the match in a national-level cricket tournament. That inning of 117 runs still gives me good vibes when remembered.
  • After that car accident, I still cannot walk alone well for broken legs.
  • Ronald and I obtained the same grade in high school. That was the day we became friends, still together, sharing life.

Sample Conversation: Describing an Event in English

Situation: Liam and Maya are catching up over coffee, and Liam is describing the music festival he attended over the weekend to Maya.

Liam: Maya, the music festival I went to over the weekend was absolutely phenomenal!

Maya: Really? Tell me all about it!

Liam: It was held at the city park and the atmosphere was electric. There were five stages set up, each featuring a different genre of music. The main stage had some of the biggest names in pop and rock.

Maya: Sounds massive! How was the crowd?

Liam: The crowd was eclectic and energetic. People were dancing everywhere, and there were these colorful lights and decorations that added to the vibe. Food stalls lined the sides, offering everything from gourmet burgers to vegan treats.

Maya: Wow, that sounds like a sensory overload! Any standout performances?

Liam: Oh, absolutely! The highlight for me was the jazz band that played as the sun set. Their melodies were hauntingly beautiful, and it felt like the music resonated with everyone there.

Maya: It sounds like an event to remember. I’ll definitely join you next time!

In Conclusion

Whenever you describe an event, keep a sequence and talk about everything in detail so that other people can see the same event through your eyes. And narrate the incident in an engaging tone using appropriate expressions I discussed earlier in the post.

Thanks for reading!

Happy learning!

1. How can I start describing an event?

Begin by setting the context, mentioning the location, date, and purpose of the event.

2. What details should I include when describing an event?

Include the main activities, participants, decorations, music, and any special occurrences or highlights.

3. How can I describe the atmosphere of an event?

Use adjectives like vibrant, solemn, festive, or intimate to convey the mood.

4. How can I talk about the attendees?

Mention the number of attendees, their demographics, and their reactions or interactions during the event.

5. How should I describe the venue?

Talk about the size, layout, decor, and any unique features of the venue.

6. Are there specific words to describe the music at an event?

Yes, terms like upbeat, melodious, thumping, soothing, or eclectic can describe the music.

7. How can I describe the food and drinks at an event?

Mention the variety, taste, presentation, and any special cuisines or dishes that were served.

8. What if there were speeches or performances?

Detail the content, the speakers or performers, and the audience’s reaction to them.

9. How can I conclude the description of an event?

Summarize the overall experience, any lasting impressions, and your feelings post-event.

10. Can I use figurative language when describing an event?

Absolutely! Metaphors, similes, and vivid imagery can enhance your description and make it more engaging.

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 8 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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