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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?
    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.
  2. Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
    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.
  3. Which of these is the correct way of saying what we mean?
    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 is the best way of saying it?
    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.
  5. Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
    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).
  6. Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
    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?
    Be careful with where we put 'only', and with the order of the adjectives in the phrase at the end of the sentence.
  8. Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
    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'.
  9. Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
    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'.
  10. Which of these would make clearest sense to an English person?
    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?

Author: Ian Miles

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