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What Are You Like? - Personal Descriptions
I like playing cricket in the summer.

What Are You Like? - Personal Descriptions

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and serious at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “What Are You Like” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Personal Descriptions quiz”! If you hear a specific term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

Meeting English people, you'll soon find yourself discussing personal descriptions such as 'What are you like?' as you share your interests and experience. This Quiz helps you learn how to deal with personal descriptions quickly and clearly while avoiding some of the 'language traps'.

1.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
We are living about 100km from the capital.
We live about 60 miles from the capital.
We are living about 60 miles from the capital.
We live about 100 km from the capital.
Most English people still reckon distances by the mile, rather than the kilometre (8km = 5miles, more or less).
Think which form of the Present Tense is more usual for factual information like this.
2.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
He is only in his twenties but sometimes he behaves like an old funny man.
He is only in his twenties but sometimes he behaves like a funny old man.
He is in his twenties only but sometimes he behaves like an old funny man.
He is in his twenties only but sometimes he behaves like a funny old man.
Be careful with where we put 'only', and with the order of the adjectives in the phrase at the end of the sentence.
3.
Which of these is the correct way of saying what we mean?
I have the eyes brown, as my parents.
I have the same brown eyes as my parents.
I have brown eyes, like my parents.
I have eyes brown, like the eyes of my parents.
Remember that in English, the adjective (= description) comes AFTER the noun.
Your eyes are very likely to look like your parents' eyes ... but they can't actually be the very same eyes, can they? (Your parents have their own eyes, and you have yours!)
4.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
Usually he is wearing the smart tee-shirt and a jean blue.
Usually he is wearing a smart tee-shirt and a blue jean.
Usually he wears the smart tee-shirt and the blue jean.
Usually he wears a smart tee-shirt and blue jeans.
Remember that in English, adjectives normally come BEFORE the noun (not like in many other languages) ... and that we always talk about 'a pair of' trousers (plural, even though they are one single item of clothing).
5.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
My neighbour is handsome, dark and tall but often he does much noise at the weekends and in the evenings.
My neighbour is tall, dark and handsome but often he makes a lot of noise at the weekends and in the evenings.
My neighbour is tall, dark and handsome but often he does a lot of noise at weekends and in the evenings.
My neighbour is handsome, tall and dark but often he does many noise at weekends and in evenings.
Be careful with the order of the adjectives (size, colour, then anything else), and think: is Noise a thing that we can count, or not?
6.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
His grandfather is retired farmer who always love British beautiful landscape.
His grandfather is the retired farmer who always loves British beautiful landscape.
His grandfather is a retired farmer who still loves beautiful British landscape.
His grandfather is a retired farmer who still loves the beautiful British landscape.
As ever, be careful with 'a'/'the', and the order of the adjectives towards the end.
7.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
My boyfriend loves travelling, but unfortunately her ears are very sensible to strong sunlight.
My boyfriend loves travelling, but unfortunately his ears are very sensible to strong sunlight.
My boyfriend loves travelling, but unfortunately his eyes are very sensitive to strong sunlight.
My boyfriend loves travelling, but fortunately his eyes are very sensitive to strong sunlight.
Make sure that (a) the boyfriend is male/masculine all the way through this sentence; (b) you have the correct part/s of him that have difficulty with bright light; (c) you know the difference between 'sensible' and 'sensitive'.
8.
Which of these is the best way of saying it?
I like playing cricket in the summer, and football during the winter months.
I like playing at cricket in the summer, and at football during the winter months.
I like to play at the cricket in the summer, and at the football during the winter months.
I like to play at the cricket in summer, and at the football during winter months.
Be careful with the little 'joining' words like 'at' and 'the'. English may not use them in quite the same ways and places as your own language does.
9.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
My sister is about 1m57 tall and weights just under 65kg.
My sister is about 5 feet 2 inches high and weighs just under 65kg.
My sister stands about 1m57 and weighs just under 10 stone.
My sister is about 5 feet 2 inches and weighs just under 10 stone.
You may not be very familiar with the 'imperial' systems of weights and measures, but if you want an English listener to understand you, you will probably need to use their units rather than yours.
10.
Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
They play on the drums a bit, but none of them is really a musician.
They play a bit of the drums, but no-one of them is really musician.
They are playing a bit at the drums, but no-one of them is really musical.
They play the drums a bit, but none of them is really a musician.
In English we don't usually bother to play 'on' or 'at' a musical instrument, nor with games ('He plays rugby'). But when we describe people, we say such things as 'She is a tourist' or 'He is an engineer'.
Author:  Ian Miles

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