ESL Vocabulary for Describing People

English Words for Talking About People and Personalities

Outgoing
Listen to the phrase »

To be friendly and sociable.

“I wish my girlfriend was more outgoing. She justs sits in the corner quietly at parties.”

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A go getter
Listen to the phrase »

A person who is very motivated and tries hard to be successful at what he does.

“My brother is a real go getter. He started his own software company and he now makes a lot of money.”

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People person
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Someone who enjoys and thrives being around other people.

“A sales person needs to be a people person. You have to talk to potential customers all day.”

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Magnetic personality
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A person who has a confident and positive personality. This person has charisma and people want to be around him.

“My new boss Terry has a magnetic personality. He is full of energy and charm.”

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To be driven
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To have a lot of motivation to succeed. To be a hard worker who is always focused on accomplishing goals.

“John is a very driven person. He wakes up early and works hard all day. He rarely takes a day off.”

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Goofy
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A person who is silly and jokes around a lot can be called “goofy”.

“My dad is so goofy. When my friends come over he dances around with a kitchen apron on singing strange songs.”

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To be good natured
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To be friendly and pleasant to be around. A person with an overall good attitude.

“He is such a good natured guy. He never gets in arguments with anyone.”

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A ham
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A person who likes to be silly and tell jokes.

“My uncle Bob is quite a ham. He tells jokes all day and plays tricks on us.”

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To be a shallow person
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A person who is not caring and only is concerned about things like money or fame is considered “shallow”.

“Barbara is a shallow girl. Before she goes out with a guy she needs to know how much he makes a year.”

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To have demons
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To have issues in your past that affect you to this day.

“Harold is a nice guy, but he has his demons. He had a rough childhood and it still affects him.”

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To be stiff
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To be an awkward person who is not relaxed and makes everyone uncomfortable.

“My cousin Larry is a little stiff. He just stands there quietly not knowing what to say.”

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To be creepy
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To have a personality that kind of scares people. To have a strange intense way about you that looks like you might be up to no good.

“Don’t go out with Tom. He is a creepy dude. He stares at young girls with a strange look in his eyes.”

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A basket case
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A person who is emotionally unstable and highly agitated.

“I was a basket case after hearing that my dog was run over by a truck. I loved that dog and I was very upset.”

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A nut job
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A negative slang expression that describes a person who does strange and crazy things.

“My physics professor is a real nut job. He teaches with his back to us and he puts his shoes on the wrong feet.”

Exercises to Practice These English Expressions:

  • ESL Conversation Activity for Describing People
  • Script for the Describing People Dialogue
  • Word Order Worksheet for Descriptions
  • Listening Activity for Describing People
  • Descriptive Words for People Worksheet
  • Fill in the Blanks for Describing People
  • Description Words Matching