Vocabulary | Describing Personality 1

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What is this episode about?

Learn new words you can use to describe people’s personality in this new vocabulary and speaking episode from English Plus Podcast.

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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.


Well come to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today, we will talk about vocabulary that we can use to describe people’s personality. And we have a lot of words, and that’s why we’re going to have two episodes about personality. This is going to be the first part, and we will talk about the second part in a later episode.

[00:00:26] But now without further ado, let’s talk about some words we can and use to describe people’s personality. Let’s start about describing the intellectual ability of people. Now, here, we can talk about people who have lots of ability. We can talk about people who don’t have a lot of ability. And remember, we’re talking about the intellectual ability, or we can talk about people who are clever, but not in a very good way.

[00:00:51] And here let’s start with people who have lots of ability. It’s not just one word. Maybe some words come to mind immediately. When we talk about lots of intellectual ability, like the word intelligent, for example, but that’s not everything we have other words too. We can say bright, clever, sharp shrude, Abel.

[00:01:12] Gifted talented brainy. All these words can be used to describe people who have a lot of intellectual ability who are smart, who are intelligent, sharp, shrewd. All of these can be used to describe people with lots of intellectual ability. Now, what about the opposite? What if you want to describe people who don’t have a lot of intellectual ability and maybe lacking some intellectual ability?

[00:01:39] Now, the first word that comes to mind might be stupid. Of course, but we have also other words we can use to describe people who are lacking the intellectual ability. And I mentioning them with a heavy heart because I hate to use them to describe anybody. But since we talked about words for people who have lots of intellectual ability, I guess I have to mention these words as well.

[00:02:00] So as we said, stupid might be the most famous word, but we also have other words like foolish. Simple silly brainless, daft dumb them and thick. But the interesting part is when we talk about people who have a lot of ability who are clever, but in a negative way. And how is that? Because these people use their intelligence to deceive other people.

[00:02:27] So. Course they are clever, but they’re not clever in an intelligent way. They’re not using their intelligence to serve people quite the contrary. They’re using their intelligence to deceive people and to describe people like that, we can use words like cunning, crafty, or sly, so cunning, crafty, or sly. So that was about the intellectual ability.

[00:02:51] Now let’s move on to talk about the attitudes toward life. When we talk about people’s attitudes towards life, and that is part of their personality. Of course, let’s start with pessimistic and optimistic, which are the opposite. Obviously. Now, if I say John is pessimistic, while Sarah is optimistic, what do I mean by that?

[00:03:12] John is pessimistic. He always expects the worst to happen, but Sarah is just the opposite. She looks on the bright side. She always expects good thing will happen. So that is pessimistic. That’s the negative part. And optimistic is just the opposite of that. And what about extroverted and introverted? Now?

[00:03:32] Let’s take a look at this example. It is strange that one of the twins is so extroverted while the other is so introverted. Ben loves being the focus of attention while Jake prefers to be alone with his thoughts. So who do you think is the extroverted and who do you think is the introverted now?

[00:03:53] Obviously, Ben, who loves being the focus of attention. He loves being with people. He loves the attention that comes his way from people. And that is what we call an extroverted person while Jake. His brother prefers to be alone with his thoughts. And that is an introverted person. And doesn’t mean that he has any kind of problems.

[00:04:15] No, but here we’re talking about a person who doesn’t enjoy social life so much. Not because he hates society is not a sociopath, but this person enjoys being on his own or on her own more than being with other people. So that was extroverted and introverted. Let’s talk about tense and relaxed. So I can say, for example, I feel very tense after a very busy day at work, but after a hot bath, I’ll soon feel relaxed.

[00:04:45] So here we’re talking about obviously tense because you’re stressed out. You have a very busy day at work. So after that you are stressed, you are tense, but then you come home, you take a bath or you take a shower, obviously, whatever you’re used to, and then you feel relaxed. You feel at ease. So that is also tense and relaxed, but we can use these words to talk about how people are usually, like some people are usually tense for no good reason.

[00:05:14] And some people are relaxed even when there are problems and other people are just freaking out, they are relaxed. So you can use them as well to describe people’s personality. And what about sensible and down to earth? Now here, for example, Eva is very sensible. What does that mean? She’d never do anything stupid.

[00:05:35] In other words, she’s very practical and down to earth. Now, a sensible person. I want you to pay attention. This is different from sensitive. Sensible is a reasonable person, is a person who thinks about the things he or she will do, and does things without being rash. He is not foolish. He thinks before he acts or she thinks before she acts.

[00:05:57] And that’s what she does. We said she’d never do anything stupid. And in other words, she’s very practical and down to earth realistic person. And now, because I told you sensible is different from sensitive. So what is sensitive if I say, for example, Roberto is very sensitive. What does that mean? Does it have to do with thinking before acting?

[00:06:18] No. Here he gets very upset. If he feels people are criticizing him, he is touched by other people. He is touched by things. He sees a person who is sensitive is a person who easily shows his or her emotions and easily affected by other things or other people. That is a sensitive person. It’s not always a bad thing of course, but maybe in a while you would want to show poker face in front of some people.

[00:06:45] You don’t want to show them how sensitive you are, because they may use it that against you. Anyway, that was sensitive. Now let’s move on to talk about attitudes of people towards other people. Now, what about people who enjoy other people’s company? What do we call these people? What are the adjectives that we can use to describe their personality?

[00:07:06] While we can say sociable or gregarious? Gregarious is even more than sociable. What about people who tend to disagree with others for good or for no good reasons? We call these people, quarrelsome people or argumentative people. So quarrelsome or argumentative to describe people who disagree with others all the time.

[00:07:27] What about people who take pleasure in other’s pain, which is a very bad thing. Of course, these people are cruel or sadistic. Sadistic is even more than GRU. And what about people who are relaxed in attitude to self and others? They are not easily offended. They’re not easily angry. It’s very difficult to tease or provoke those people because they are easygoing even tempered or laid back.

[00:07:54] So we can use easygoing, even tempered or laid back to talk about people who are relaxed in attitude to self and to others. And what about people who are not polite to others? Well, obviously we can say these people are impolite impolite people, but we have other words as well. We can say these people are rude or these people are ill mannered or this culture.

[00:08:19] Now this culture was, is fancy word. I can say it is more formal and literary. Then the other ones impolite and rude are used more ill mannered is a little bit more formal. This culture is a big word, fancy word, if you want. But all of these words can be used to describe people who are not polite to others.

[00:08:38] And what about people who tell the truth to others? Almost always, or we can even say always these people are honest, honest people. Reliable people, trustworthy people, sincere people. These people are people who tell the truth to others all the time. So again, these words are honest, trustworthy, reliable, or sincere.

[00:09:03] What if you are unhappy, if others have what you do not have yourself. What do we call you? Then if you feel this way, well, we can call you a jealous person. Jealous person wants to have what other people have. But to be honest, although jealous is usually negative, but it’s not always negative. Sometimes you can be jealous.

[00:09:24] You can work hard to get what other people have. You don’t want the thing they have. You don’t want them to lose what they have so that you can have it, or at least if you don’t have it, they shouldn’t have it. It’s not like that. If you’re like that, it’s not jealous. It’s envious. We say you are envious.

[00:09:42] And that is a very negative word to be envious. So here we have words. If you are unhappy, if others have what you do not have yourself, we can use jealous. Or as we said, the more negative word. Envious. And now we will talk about a set of adjectives and I will focus on a specific thing. And that is adjectives that have similar meaning, but some of them are used in a positive way.

[00:10:06] And some of them are used in a negative way with almost the same meaning. So we can say all these words are synonyms. But some of them are positive and some of them are negative. Let’s start with determined. A determined person is a person who does everything he can, or she can to get what they want. And nothing makes them give up.

[00:10:25] If they want something, they get it. They are determined. That’s a very good thing. Obviously it’s a positive adjective. But what if you are wrong? What if you want to do something and it is wrong and you’ve got everything around you to prove that you are wrong, but no, you still want to do it. Well, that’s not a very good thing.

[00:10:43] Then you are obstinate, stubborn or even headed. So here that is a negative thing. Determined is a synonym of obstinate, stubborn and pig headed, but obstinate, stubborn and big headed are negative words while determined is a positive word. Now let’s move on to talk about another thing. What if you save money because you value money and you don’t just want to waste your money, especially on things you don’t need.

[00:11:09] So then we can call you thrifty or economical, thrifty and economical are good words are good. Adjectives, positive adjectives. But if you do that too much and you get to the point where you don’t want to pay any money for anything at all, well, that’s not a good thing. And at that point we can call you thrifty or economical anymore.

[00:11:30] At that point, this person is called stingy mean. Tight-fisted or miserly. Now what about if you have a lot of confidence and when you do something, you’re pretty sure that you can do it and you deliver. So that is a person who is, self-assured a confident person. That is very good. Of course. A self-assured person, a confident person is sure he, or she will deliver what they promise and they can do it, even if there’s still a long way to get there, but they’re confident that they can get the job done or they can get to where they want to go.

[00:12:04] But sometimes. It can be a little bit too much if you just have confidence. No good reasons. And especially if you have confidence and you do nothing because remember confidence without hard work is nothing. If you’re just confident and you do nothing to get to where you want to get, obviously all your confidence is worthless.

[00:12:23] And if you know people like that, and if people are just confident, For no good reason. And to be honest, they’re not worth that confidence at all. We can call themselves important, arrogant or full of yourself, full of yourself, full of himself, full of herself, et cetera. So here, these are negative words.

[00:12:42] Yes. They might have a close meaning to self self-assured and confident, but they are just the opposite in terms of positive and negative self assured and confident are positive. Self-important arrogant and full of yourself are negative. And what about a person who does things differently? He or she, they don’t care to follow trends.

[00:13:02] They do things their own way. They’re unconventional. That is a very good word. That’s a positive word. A person who is unconventional does not follow trends. He or she does things their own way. But if you go to the extreme and you are so much different, In a way that is not even relevant to other people that can be negative.

[00:13:25] And then we can call this person not unconventional. We can call this person eccentric, odd, peculiar, or weird. And these are obviously negative adjectives. Now what if a person tells the truth all the time, and that is obviously a very positive quality to have. A person like that is Frank direct and open.

[00:13:45] So we can use Frank direct or open. And these are positive adjectives to describe a person who tells the truth, but sometimes it’s not about lying, but sometimes telling too much of the truth can hurt people’s feelings. Of course, it is important to be Frank and direct and open all the times, but sometimes you may be a little bit tactful.

[00:14:05] You may respect people’s feelings. You need to have a little bit of emotional intelligence, not to say everything you see or everything. You know, you need to be tactful. I’m not saying go and lie to people, but you get what I’m saying. Sometimes you need to respect other people’s feelings, but some people don’t respect other people’s feelings.

[00:14:24] When they say something, they believe that they’re just Frank and they are just saying it because. They’re open. They’re Frank, but that’s not Frank or open or direct Frank and open and direct are positive words. And these are blunt people, abrupt people, bursts or Curt, and these are not positive adjectives.

[00:14:43] These are negative adjectives. But remember, again, it depends on how you like it. You like people who are blunt. Maybe, maybe you like people who are blunt. Even if it’s a negative adjective for most other people, or you might not like people who are blunt, abrupt, burst scorecard, that’s up to you. Of course, here, we’re talking about personality positive and negative in a general way, but your perspective on things is very important as well.

[00:15:07] You might like some negative qualities and that’s up to you. And now let’s move on to another example. And that is broadminded. When you are broadminded, you don’t have problems. When people are different or they have different ideas different than your own. And when they want to try things different than your own way or the way you think is the best you have no problem.

[00:15:29] You give them space, especially if you have the power, you give them space to do their thing, and you don’t criticize them for just being different from you. That is a broad minded person. But you can tolerate a criminal. For example, you can say I’m open-minded and I can tolerate a criminal to the fact that I’m okay with what he does.

[00:15:47] I have no problem with that. Well, that’s a little bit too much. And maybe even more, you start committing crimes yourself because you’re broad-minded, that’s not broad-minded my friends. Broad-minded is accepting differences and embracing differences. But if you have no principles at all, you can’t say that this is broadminded, that is called unprincipled or permissive.

[00:16:10] And that is not a very good thing. That’s a bad thing. That’s a negative thing. And now let’s move on to the next set. And here we have people who are curious when they see something, they don’t understand it. They don’t get it. They try to find out how that happens. They try to search for information, they try to figure out things.

[00:16:28] And that’s a very good thing. And we can call these people, inquiring people. But if it is done too much, and if this person wants to know about your private lives, even the parts you don’t want to share with anybody, and even they go behind your back and try to dig in and find out about your private lives.

[00:16:45] That’s not inquiring anymore. That’s not positive anymore. That is inquisitive and nosy. Inquisitive and nosy are negative adjectives, of course. But again, as I told you, they are synonyms, but some of them are used in a positive way. Some of them are used in a negative way. And now let’s move on to talk about people who give other people without expecting anything in return.

[00:17:08] What do we call these people? These people are generous, right? And it’s a very good quality to be generous, especially when you spend your money in places where your generosity is going to make a difference. That is generous, of course. And that is absolutely positive. But if you do that too much and you just spend your money left right and center, you can call yourself generous.

[00:17:29] That is extravagant. You spent too much money. You waste money. That is not being generous anymore. That’s being extravagant and extravagant is a negative word. And what about people who think everybody is good and they don’t think anybody is bad. And they believe in people and they believe everything.

[00:17:47] People say, well, we can say these are innocent people, but here there’s a fine line between being innocent, which is a good thing. And between being naive, Well, but being naive is you can easily be fooled by other people. Now, other people can fool you easily and that’s not innocent. That’s not positive to be naive is a little bit negative because you can easily be fooled by people, especially if people have done that to you or have tricked you before many times.

[00:18:16] And you still believe the same trick. Well, that is a little bit naive. That’s not innocent anymore. So that was innocent, which is the positive word and naive, which is the negative one. How about people who want to do better and better and get to higher and higher places, they are never satisfied with their level.

[00:18:33] They always want more. And I’m not talking about greedy people. It’s not about just wanting money. You just want to get to the best possible place where you can get, you want to extract. Every bit of potential you have. Well, that is called ambitious. And it’s a very good thing, but sometimes if you are too ambitious and if your ambition drives your action to the point where you don’t see anybody around you, and sometimes you can even start treading people around you just to get to your ambitions, that’s not a very good thing.

[00:19:00] And then we can call this person pushy. And that is a negative word. So ambitious is a positive adjective and pushy is a negative adjective. And now for our last pair for today, and that is when you want to do something, when you want to try something new. Now, some people do, they just wait for their chance to happen, which may never come.

[00:19:18] Some other people they’re bold enough to assert their ideas, to try and tell other people about their ideas and convince them with their ideas and do them. And these people are assertive. They just don’t wait for things to happen. They take initiative, they tell people about their ideas and they try to do them.

[00:19:35] But if you do that too much, and if you don’t consider that other people have ideas too, not only yourself, then you are not assertive anymore. You’re aggressive and bossy. So aggressive and bossy are negative while assertive is positive. Now that being said, these are all the words I wanted to share with you today.

[00:19:54] Don’t forget that you can find a lot of practice and interactive video, interactive activities and a PDF practice worksheet that you can download for free. From our website, you can find the link in the description that will take you to English plus podcast.com to the custom posts for this episode. Or you can find everything you need from the show notes to the exercises, to everything else you need.

[00:20:15] And if you like the content we’re creating, there’s also another link that will take you to our Patreon page, where you can support us and become a patron of English plus podcast to help us create more of the content you love with that being said, thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcasts.

[00:20:30] This is your host, Danny. I will see you next time.


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<a href="https://englishpluspodcast.com/author/dannyballanowner/" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan


Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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