Episode 226

Common adjectives to describe people


Hey guys! Welcome to our ENGLISH BITES – This is Erika Belmonte speaking and in case you need the transcription of this English Bite, go to www.englishbites.com.br and look for the episode number 226.


First things first. Since today’s lesson is about adjectives I decided to start with the basics: their position in a sentence.

There’s a time in our English studies when we hear “Oh, in English everything is in the wrong place” and you keep asking yourself “what on Earth are these people talking about?”. Adjectives are one of the main reasons they say that.

I always like to illustrate this explanation with the image of a cat that is black. So it is a BLACK CAT. What I wish to explain with the feline example is that, in English, the characteristics of something always come BEFORE this ‘something’

Ex: BIG house; BEAUTIFUL girl; WHITE house; RED car, LONG trip, etc

Today we will have the opportunity to study some of those adjectives that we usually attribute to people in Portuguese, but don’t know how to say in English. There are many ways of describing someone, so I’ll break this episode in two and start from the PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. Attention to the lists below:



When talking about the color of the skin, be very careful because some of them may be seen as racist. Below there are some rules on how to behave in this matter

  1. Don’t EVER call any asian guy YELLOW, this is racism!
  2. BLACK is ok, ‘NIGGA’ is NOT ok. If you’re balck and want to call your friend a NIGGA, it’s not fine but it is accepted in the society. ‘Nigger’ or ‘negro’ were the terms that originated this slang. It was basically used to refer to the slaves coming from Africa so it’s very offensive ‘cause THERE ARE NO SLAVES IN THE 21st CENTURY, MISTER!
  3. White is not racist, you can call yourself a ‘pretty fly white guy’ if you want to kkkk
  4. “Pale” is the characteristic given to really white people, almost transparent. It is so a ‘pale skin’. It is also used to describe the expression one has when they are scared

It’s always important to highlight that we are not living in the 50’s so we don’t separate people by color (thank God) and it’s all about the intention you put to your words when they are coming out of your mouth. Be very careful with that too.

2.1 – BODY

These are for whenever you want to gossip, compliment or talk about yours or somebody else’s body shape or looks.

  • FAT: To have a body full of fat, extra weight. Be careful, though’ because it is really offensive to call somebody FAT. For those cases it is possible to say CHUBBY or BIG. Anyway, you must pay attention to who you are talking to and it’s never good ‘to body shame’ anybody for the shape of their body.


Ex: Wow! Your cousing is a big guy, isn’t he?


  • BEEFY: A person (especially a man) with a large heavy body and strong muscles


Ex: a beefy red-faced Englishman


  • THIN: Having a little, or too little, flesh on your body

Ex: I don’t think being thin is the most beautiful. There are all kinds of beauty


  • SKINNY: More than thin


Ex: Does she eat well? She is so skinny L


  • SLIM: It is what is considered to be a hot body; all in its place. Generally thin, but the shape well defined, a little muscly


Ex: I started going to the gym to be slim, but now I have a whole new lifestyle and I feel so much better!


  • MUSCLY: To have a tonned body, the type of person who works out really hard.


Ex: He has a muscly body I find really attractive


  • YOUTHFULL APPEARANCE/ YOUNG: This person doesn’t seem to be the age they are on their ID, normally look younger


Ex: Is that your mon? OMG she looks so young she could be your sister kkkk


  • BEAUTIFUL: What people don’t know is that this word is mostly used to describe women, for men we use the word HANDSOME that carries the same definition, a GOOD-LOOKING It may be figurative too and describe how the person is on the inside


Ex: You are such a beautiful person. Your energy always makes me feel good/ That girl from you chemistry class is really beautiful


  • GOOD-LOOKING: I guess this adjective describes itself, it is used to talk about someone who is attractive to you, good to the eyes, eye-catching. Used for both men and women.


Ex: Hm is that your husband? He’s so good-looking. You’re lucky kkkk


  • PRETTY: Attractive, cute; oftenly used to describe girls


Ex: She is a pretty girl but she behaves in such a bad way I’m disappointed


  • GORGEOUS: More than beautiful. Unusual beauty that impresses you and also catches your sight.


Ex: My new neighbour is bsolutely gorgeous! I think she is a fashion model


  • HOT: This adjective normally indicates a high temperature, but when used to people it means that you are attracted mostly to their body


Ex: I look so hot in this dress!


So, that’s it for today guys. I really hope you have enjoyed today’s episode. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your support and for listening to this English bite. Take care of yourselves and I’ll see you on the next one. Bye


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