Topic: Describing People

Topic: Describing People

Chapter: Describing People

The Spanish language has an array of descriptors for physical appearance and personality traits. Understanding and being able to use these descriptors effectively is key in this section.

Physical Appearance

  • Hair types: liso (straight), rizado (curly), corto (short), largo (long)

  • Eye colour: ojos azules (blue eyes), ojos verdes (green eyes), ojos marrones (brown eyes)

  • Age indicators: joven (young), viejo (old), de edad mediana (middle-aged)

  • Size and build: delgado (slim), gordo (fat), alto (tall), bajo (short)

Personality Traits

  • Amable (kind), simpático/a (nice/friendly), tímido/a (shy), valiente (brave), generoso/a (generous), trabajador/a (hard-working), perezoso/a (lazy)

  • Make sure to match the gender and number of the adjective to the noun it describes. For example, if describing a tall, friendly woman, we would say “una mujer alta y simpática”.

Useful Verbs

  • Ser (to be) is used for permanent or long-lasting characteristics (e.g. personality traits, physical appearance)

  • Estar (to be) is used for temporary states or feelings (e.g. “Ella está cansada” - “She is tired”)

  • Tener (to have) is used when describing age, or physical features that someone “has”. For example, “Tengo el pelo largo” (I have long hair) or “Ella tiene veinte años” (She is twenty years old)

Useful Phrases

  • Me parece que…” + [description] (It seems to me that…)

  • En mi opinión, él/ella es…” + [description] (In my opinion, he/she is…)

  • Pienso que…” + [description] (I think that…)