Building Character Adjectives Vocabulary

Describing People
Creative / DigitalVision / Getty Images

This intermediate level lesson employs a fun questionnaire to focus on developing personal description vocabulary. Students can practice conversation skills while also focusing on improving their command of refined character description. This first phase is then followed by a vocabulary development exercise sheet.

Aim: Developing and broadening knowledge of character adjective vocabulary

Activity: Questionnaire followed by vocabulary matching activity

Level: Intermediate


  • Ask students to describe a family member, write descriptive adjectives on the board.
  • Distribute questionnaire and ask students to pair up and ask each other questions contained in survey.
  • Have students report back to the class on what they have learned about their partner's best friend.
  • Divide students up into small groups and ask them to complete the adjective worksheet.
  • Check worksheet as a class.
  • Ask students to provide the opposite of each adjective listed on the worksheet - this activity can be done as a class or in small groups.
  • Provide the gap fill as a review exercise for vocabulary learned in this lesson.
  • As a follow-up exercise, have students write a description of one of their family members, friends or relatives with special emphasis on using the adjectives discussed during the lesson.

What Kind of Best Friend Do You Have?

Exercise 1: Ask your partners the following question about his/her best friend. Make sure to listen carefully to what your partner has to say.

  1. Is your friend usually in a good mood?
  2. Is it important for your friend to be successful in whatever he/she does?
  3. Does your friend notice your feelings?
  4. Does your friend often give presents, or pay for lunch or a coffee?
  5. Does your friend work hard?
  6. Does your friend become angry or annoyed if he/she has to wait for something or someone?
  7. Can you trust your friend with a secret?
  8. Does your friend listen well when you are speaking?
  9. Does your friend keep his/her feelings to him/herself?
  10. Is your friend usually not worried by things, no matter what happens?
  11. Does your friend think the future will be good?
  12. Does your friend often change their opinion about things?
  13. Does your friend often postpone things he/she has to do?
  14. Is your friend happy one moment and then sad the next?
  15. Does your friend like to be with people?

Exercise 2: Which of these adjectives describes the quality asked about in each of the survey questions?

  • generous
  • easygoing
  • ambitious
  • cheerful
  • hardworking
  • trustworthy
  • impatient
  • optimistic
  • sensitive
  • moody
  • sociable
  • indecisive
  • reserved
  • lazy
  • attentive

Exercise 3: Use one of the 15 character adjectives to fill in the blanks. Pay special attention to the context for clues.

  1. He's the type of person who's always whistling at work. He rarely gets angry or depressed, so I'd say he's a rather ______________ person.
  2. She's a bit difficult to understand. One day she's happy, the next she's depressed. You could say she's a ____________ person.
  3. Peter sees the good in everybody and everything. He's a very _______________ coworker.
  4. He's always in a rush and worried he's going to miss something. It's hard to work with him because he's really ______________.
  5. Jennifer makes sure all the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed. She's very _____________ to detail.
  6. You can believe anything she says and rely on her to do anything. In fact, she's probably the most ____________ person I know.
  7. Don't count on any work getting done with him around. He's just a ___________ slob!
  8. I'd say she can't be disturbed by anything, and she's happy to do whatever you'd like. She's very ________________.
  9. Be careful about what you say to Jack. He's so ______________ that he might start to cry if you made a joke about his strange looking shirt. 
  10. I swear she'd give the shirt off her back to someone if she needed it. To say she is _____________ is an understatement!


  1. cheerful / easygoing
  2. moody / sensitive
  3. optimistic
  4. impatient / ambitious
  5. attentive / trustworthy
  6. trustworthy
  7. lazy
  8. easygoing / cheerful
  9. sensitive / moody
  10. generous