Explanations » A2 Vocabulary Explanations » Describing people’s appearance – A2 English Vocabulary
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  • Describing people’s appearance

    In this lesson, you will learn how to use certain adjectives and words to describe people’s physical appearance. Check the following pictures and look at the definitions below.

    Illustrations showcasing vocabulary for describing people's appearance, including terms like tall, short, slim, and overweight.

    Height and Build

    When someone is 1 tall, they are higher in height than most people.

    If a person is 2 short, they are smaller in height compared to others.

    A person who is 3 medium height or build is not very tall or very short.

    4 Slim refers to a person who is thin in a healthy and attractive way.

    If someone is 5 thin, they do not have much fat on their body. Thin does not mean in an attractive way, like slim.

    6 Skinny describes a person who is extremely thin, often to an unhealthy extent or in a way that you find unattractive.

    7 Overweight people are fat people. They have more body fat than is considered healthy.

    8 Fit people are in good physical shape and have strong muscles.

    A 9 curvy woman is a woman who is attractive because of the curves or rounded parts of her body.

    If a woman or girl is 10 petite, she is small, thin and delicate in an attractive way.


    When we describe someone’s hair, we often mention one or more of these three things: length, shape and colour.

    In terms of length, hair can be 11 long, 12 short, or 13 medium-length. For women, for example, long hair would reach past the woman’s shoulders, medium-length hair would reach a point near the shoulders, and short hair would be any length shorter than that.

    About the shape, we normally use straight, wavy and curly.

    Regarding the colour, we often talk about 14 blonde hair, dark hair or brown hair. A woman with dark brown hair is often called a 15 brunette.

    If we want to use any of these adjectives together, we need to do it in this order: length > shape > colour. For instance, long dark hair, short wavy hair, curly blonde hair, etc.

    Other words and phrases

    To describe people’s appearance, we can also mention whether they 16 wear glasses, or have any distinctive traits, like 17 a beard, 18 a moustache, 19 wrinkles or 20 freckles.

    Wrinkles are lines that form on the skin as a person gets older, and freckles are small brown spots on the skin.

    If we want to mention the weight or height of a person, we use the verb be with the height, and the verb weigh with the weight:

    • He is six feet tall, and she is five feet six inches. 
    • She weighs 120 pounds.

    Lastly, if you want to know about someone’s appearance, the appropriate question to ask is: “What does he/she look like?”