Descriptive Vocabulary for Cinema, Movies, and Stars

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The use of descriptive adjectives during class tends towards the mundane. Students use simple adjectives to describe their classrooms, cities, jobs and so on. However, when reading or watching films students are confronted with a much wider range of descriptive language. This lesson focuses on using popular films to help students start using more varied descriptive language in their own conversations.

Speaking about various actors and actresses and the films they have appeared in provides an ideal opportunity for students to use "bigger than life" descriptive adjectives - thus widening their descriptive vocabulary skills.

Students who enjoy this lesson will also enjoy learning about and discussing movie genres.

  • Aim: Improve vocabulary skills used when speaking about the cinema, films, and movies
  • Activity: Matching exercise combining descriptive adjectives and famous actors and actresses
  • Level: Intermediate


  • Ask students to name some of their favorite actors and actresses. Encourage them to use descriptive adjectives to describe them.
  • Have students pair up and use the activity. Ask them to choose one or two descriptive adjectives that they feel describes the actor or actress best. Students should feel free to discuss their opinions.
  • As a class, go through the list of actors and actresses and discuss which adjectives they have chosen to describe the various actors and actresses.
  • As a follow-up activity, ask students to choose an actor or actress that they are very familiar with and write a description of the various films that he/she has done using the various descriptive adjectives from the list, as well as others that they know or look up in a dictionary.

How would you describe your favorite actor or actress?

Descriptive Words

  • Handsome
  • Comely
  • Plain
  • Overrated
  • Impeccable
  • Boring
  • Extrovert
  • Sophisticated
  • Agile
  • Sinister
  • Multi-talented
  • Beautiful
  • Absurd
  • Versatile
  • Ironic
  • Glamorous
  • Idiotic

Actors and Actresses

  • Denzel Washington
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Roberto Benigni
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Judy Foster
  • Dustin Hoffman
  • Jim Carey
  • Demi Moore
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Sophia Loren
  • Bruce Willis
  • Will Smith
  • Meg Ryan
  • Tom Hanks
  • You choose!
  • You choose!
  • You choose!
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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Descriptive Vocabulary for Cinema, Movies, and Stars." ThoughtCo, Sep. 8, 2021, Beare, Kenneth. (2021, September 8). Descriptive Vocabulary for Cinema, Movies, and Stars. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Descriptive Vocabulary for Cinema, Movies, and Stars." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 28, 2023).