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English Lesson – Personality

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 @ 10:03 AM
posted by Jo

This is the preparation material for an English Conversation lesson about personality traits. There are some common terms and idioms that we could use when discussing our own or other people's personalities, as well as a list of conversation questions that people might ask eachother when talking about this subject.

Advanced vocabulary we might use when discussing personality

  • Cynical - seeing little or no good in other people, believing that people do good things for bad reasons.
  • Eccentric - having strange, unusual or abnormal habits or tastes (This term is less insulting than strange, weird or bizarre)
  • Egotistical - thinking too highly of oneself, considering oneself better than others.
  • Impulsive - someone who is impulsive does things without considering the possible dangers or problems first.
  • Ambitious - determined to be successful, rich or powerful.
  • Imaginative - creative, having much imagination.
  • Indecisive - unable to decide quickly, not knowing what choice to make.
  • Picky - hard to please, too careful in choosing something.
  • Sensible - practical, reasonable, something that makes sense.
  • Sensitive - easily feels emotion, easily hurt emotionally (can be positive or negative).
  • Sophisticated - representing high culture, very experienced in life .
  • Thoughtful - often doing things to make other people feel good.
  • Outgoing - someone who is outgoing likes to meet and talk to new people
  • Obnoxious - very offensive, unpleasant, or rude

Idioms we might using when describing people

  • Down to earth - someone who is humble, a realistic and practical person who has sensible reactions and expectations.
  • A loose cannon - someone who cannot be trusted because they are unpredictable and have irresponsible behaviour which can cause trouble.
  • As stubborn as a mule - someone who is unwilling to listen to reason or change their mind about something.
  • Hard as nails - someone who is very unsympathetic who does not seem to care about others.
  • High and mighty - someone who thinks they are more superior than other people.
  • Full of hot air - a person who is full of nonsense and talks a lot without saying anything worthwhile.
  • A heart of gold - someone who is very kind and caring.
  • A pain in the neck - someone who is very annoying.
  • A couch potato - someone who is lazy and spends too much time in front of the TV and eating junk food.
  • Butter wouldn't melt in his/her mouth - someone who looks completely innocent but they are capable of doing naughty/unpleasant things.   

Conversation questions about people and personalities

  • What do you think are the factors that shape a person's personality?
  • Do you think one's horoscope affects their personality?
  • Do you think you can change a major characteristic of your personality if you try?
  • Do you think personality traits vary between countries? 
  • What personality traits do you consider important in a good friend?
  • What personality traits do you think are important in a boss or manager?
  • What personality traits do you think are important in a spouse/partner?
  • What personality traits don't you like in a person?
  • Do you think a person can have 'no personality'?
  • Do you think a person can have multiple or 'split' personalities?
  • What would you say are the three best personality traits to have?
  • Do you think it is possible to hide your personality? What's an example?
  • Do you think personality tests and assessments can accurately categorise a person?
  • Can you think of a famous person with a good sense of humour?
  • How would you describe the personality of the Dalai Lama/Barack Obama/Michael Jackson/Oprah Winfrey?
  • What are some characteristics of your personality?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What are some things that make you angry?
  • If you could remove one aspect of your personality, what would it be?
  • Are you a determined person? Are you a stubborn person?
  • Are you shy? In which occasions are you shy?
  • Is your personality suited to your job? How?
  • Do you think your personality has changed over time?
  • What type of personality do your family members have?
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