English Vocabulary Exercises for B1 – Describing character

1. Complete the table.



1   ambition



3   creativity



5   flexibility



7   honesty



9   intelligence



11   maturity



13   optimism



15   pessimism



17   realism



19   seriousness



21   sociability



23   sympathy



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1) ambitious   2) cheerfulness   3) creative   4) enthusiasm

5) flexible   6) generosity   7) honest   8) idealism

9) intelligent   10) loyalty   11) mature   12) modesty

13) optimistic   14) patience   15) pessimistic

16) punctuality   17) realistic   18) self-confidence

19) serious   20) shyness   21) sociable   22) stubbornness

23) sympathetic   24) thoughtfulness

2. Complete the phrases for describing personal qualities with the words below.

common      communicating      courage      energy

initiative      lack      sense      skills

1) have a good ________. of humour

2) have lots of / no sense

3) have good organisational ________.

4) _____. self-confidence

5) have physical ________.

6) be good at ________.

7) show lots of ________.

8) have lots of ________.

Show answers

1) sense   2) common   3) skills   4) lack   5) courage

6) communicating   7) initiative   8) energy

3. Complete the sentences with adjectives and phrases from exercises 1 and 2.

1) Sue is very ________. She always thinks things will get worse.

2) Harry loves telling jokes. He has ________.

3) Try to be ________. It isn’t good to be late.

4) She always tells the truth. She’s very ________.

5) She’s always telling everyone how clever she is. She isn’t very ________.

6) He loves being with other people. He’s the most ________. person I know!

7) She loves dangerous sports. She has great ________.

8) I can talk to her about problems. She always listens. She’s very ________.

9) He always knows what to do. You don’t need to tell him. He ________.

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1) pessimistic   2) a good sense of humour   3) punctual

4) honest   5) modest   6) sociable   7) courage

8) sympathetic   9) shows lots of initiative

4. Listen to three people describing a friend or family member. Choose two adjectives below that best describe the people. There are two extra adjectives.

ambitious      cheerful      generous      intelligent

optimistic      patient      punctual      serious

1) _______ and ____________

2) _______ and ____________

3) _______ and ____________

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1) cheerful, optimistic   2) intelligent, ambitious

3) serious, patient


See exercise 5.

5. Listen again. Match the descriptions 1-3 with sentences A-D. There is one extra sentence.

This person:

a shows lots of initiative in planning his / her future.

b lacks confidence in social situations.

c has the opposite personality to the speaker.

d likes to pass on knowledge to others.

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a 2   c 1   d 3

The extra sentence is b .



friend Andy is great company – he’s great to do things with and hang out with. This is because he’s usually in a good mood. In fact, I can’t remember the last time he was in a bad mood! He’s always smiling and making a joke about something. He tends to see the positive in every situation and usually finds something nice to say about everybody. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like him. He’s a great friend to me, especially because I worry a lot and tend to see the negative side of life. But when I spend time with him, I always feel better after a while.


I’m very impressed with sister Elise. She’s always been good at school and she’s usually at the top of the class or somewhere near it. She’s got a good brain and uses it. She understands things quickly and remembers things well. It could make her a bit lazy, but actually she’s the opposite! She works extremely hard. And she’s also very focused. She usually has a plan and she works towards it. Now she wants to go to a top university to study biology, which is a very difficult thing to achieve, but she’s determined. And I have no doubt that she will manage it. She’s not afraid to aim high and put the work in to achieve her goals. I’m going to be more like her.


dad is an interesting person, although he doesn’t talk a lot and he doesn’t smile easily. But he reads a lot and thinks about things. And he takes a while before he gives you his opinion about something. But that’s OK because when he does finally express his view on a topic, then you know it’s worth listening to and you might learn something. He’s also very helpful with homework. He’ll sit for hours explaining things to me. He never rushes me or gets annoyed if I don’t understand something. In fact, he’ll start from the beginning and go through it all again until I get it. I think he really enjoys it.

6. Write a short text describing someone you know. Give examples that show their personality.

brother is very creative. He’s really good at drawing and painting. He’s also a bit ___






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your own answers

Extra exercises

1. Complete the table with the related nouns and adjectives.



















Show answers

1) cheerfulness   2) flexibility   3) modest   4) idealistic

5) shyness   6) thoughtfulness   7) pessimistic   8) honest

2. Complete the sentences with adjective or noun form of the words in bold.

1) I don’t expect any sympathy from brother. He’s never been very ________.

2) friend Hannah is always cheerful . Her ________. puts everyone in a good mood.

3) I haven’t really got any ambitions . I guess you could say I’m not very ________.

4) Some parents quickly lose ________. with their children. I think they need to be more patient .

5) If you want children to be creative , you have to encourage their ________.

6) Our art teacher shows great enthusiasm for our pictures. I don’t know how he can be so ________.

7) sister’s self-confidence has grown since she was young. Now she’s almost too ________.

Show answers

1) sympathetic   2) cheerfulness   3) ambitious   4) patience

5) creativity   6) enthusiastic   7) self-confident

3. Circle the correct verbs.

1) To be a firefighter, you need to be / have / lack physical courage.

2) A career in politics is not for those who be / lack / show self-confidence.

3) A comedian needs to be / have / lack a good sense of humour in order to make people laugh.

4) It’s important for a teacher to be / have / show good at communicating.

5) You need to be / have / lack lots of energy to work with small children.

6) You have to be / lack / show lots of initiative if you want to get a promotion.

Show answers

1) have   2 lack   3) have   4) be   5) have   6) show

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