IELTS exam preparation: describing people vocabulary

In preparation for the IELTS exam, I’ve included below some exercises to help develop your vocabulary related to describing people. At the end of the post, I’ve included a speaking task for you to practice and an example of a model answer. If you need help preparing for your IELTS exam, please email me at cbrow82@gmail.com or complete the ‘Contact form’ on this website.

So let’s start. Here are some very common adjectives that we can use to describe people. If you’re unsure of the meaning, check in a dictionary and think about some people you know who fit these adjectives to help you remember them.

artisticsupportiveadventuroustalkativereliablepatient
ambitioussportycreativeconsiderateconscientioushelpful

Now write down some sentences using these adjectives. For example, “My teacher is very conscientious because she works hard to prepare me for the IELTS exam.”

Next, I’ve included below some nouns. I want you to add -al, -ed, -ent, -able, -ing, -ful or -ous to the ending to form adjectives.

talentcareconfidenceknowledge
humourgenerositysociabilitypunctuality

Read for the answers? Scroll down….

talentedcarefulconfidentknowledgeable
humorousgeneroussociablepunctual

So now we have more adjectives which you can use describe people you know. I’ve included below some sentences. I want you to think about which of the above adjectives you could apply to each sentence. Again, the answers are available below.

  1. My father is always telling jokes and making a fool of himself
  2. He knows a lot about the IELTS examination, particularly the listening and reading parts
  3. My friend can sing really well. I’ve seen her perform many times in concert
  4. She rarely arrives late to class. Usually, she’s the first one there
  5. Chris is good at his job and usually takes the lead in meetings
  6. He’s got a strong attention to detail. Any mistakes at work would be costly
  7. She loves being around people and having a good time
  8. They donate a lot of money to charity

Ready for the answers? Scroll down….

  1. My father is always telling jokes and making a fool of himself Humorous
  2. He knows a lot about the IELTS examination, particularly the listening and reading parts Knowledgeable
  3. My friend can sing really well. I’ve seen her perform many times in concert Talented
  4. She rarely arrives late to class. Usually, she’s the first one there Punctual
  5. Chris is good at his job and usually takes the lead in meetings Confident
  6. He’s got a strong attention to detail. Any mistakes would be costly Careful
  7. She loves being around people and having a good time Sociable
  8. They donate a lot of money to charity Generous

So here is an example of a real-life speaking task. Think about how you can bring this vocabulary into your speaking. The examiner will give you one minute to make notes so bullet point your ideas or use a spider diagram to collect your thoughts. You should then speak for one to two minutes about this topic. The examiner will be looking at the vocabulary you use, grammar, pronunciation and general fluency

Describe a person you would like to be similar to.

You should say:

  1. Who this person is
  2. What this person does
  3. What qualities this person has
  4. Why you would like to be similar to this person

Here is a model answer. I’ve highlighted some nice vocabulary and grammar structures used by the speaker

I am a rather average person both in terms of my looks and personality. So, it is no surprise that I find many people around me to be similar to me, as far as the behaviour and personality are concerned, and today, I would like to talk about one of them here.

The person, I am talking about, is a distant cousin of mine. Although we are distant cousins, we have a very warm relationship with each other. In fact, we grew up together even though, we have an age difference of almost two years between us. But that age barrier never stopped us from playing football together in the same team or enjoying a film at the theatre.

By the way, we are not exactly considered “friends”, but we are more than friends. In fact, we are like brothers to each other with a rather strong brotherly bond where anything goes.

To introduce this distant cousin of mine, he is a university graduate and studied accounting. But, even though, he is a very bright student with distinct academic performance, he never really went for any job. Instead, he chose business as a career. He is about 6 feet tall and has a rather strong physical built like me. There is no doubt that I like my cousin a lot, but other people around him have some mixed feelings and thoughts about him, as some of them consider him friendly while the others think of him as a rather arrogant and rude person because of his “straight talks”. But, whatever he may be, all people around him consider him as a very hard working person.

Anyway, my cousin is similar to me in three aspects. First one is, of course, we both like to wear white t-shirts and jeans and have somewhat similar physical build. The second one is, we both like our coffee to be really strong and hot. Finally, the third one is that we both like to save up as much money as possible without ever wasting them.

Good luck with your IELTS exam preparation

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