Welcome to the Speak Confident English Podcast!
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Hi, I’m Anne Marie with Speak Confident English and welcome to your confident english Wednesday lesson. This is where you want to be every Wednesday if your goal is to advance your English language skills and communicate with confidence. And this week’s topic is really exciting because our focus is on you. Who are you? What makes you unique? What makes you, you? What is your attitude toward life? How do you view the world? We are focused on your personality, and your characteristics.
Of course, the language that you’re going to use in today’s lesson is also essential for being able to describe other people. If you describe your best friend or your colleagues at work. You need to have the language that we use, the vocabulary, the expressions and idioms for describing personalities. On this topic, there is so much to know, and we’re going to dive deeply on this topic. So, this is actually the first lesson in a series that I will do so that we can discover the good, the bad, and the ugly of personalities. We’re going to focus on traits that are positive, things that we love about people. We’ll also focus on things that aren’t so positive, things that maybe we don’t like about people so much and everything in the middle.
In today’s first lesson we’re going to look at some useful language that will allow you to talk about personalities, how to start that first sentence or your conversation. We’ll also look at language that helps us to soften those negative characteristics, or even show different levels of extreme. For example, maybe someone is extremely shy, or someone is extremely outgoing and talkative. Or maybe someone is just in the middle. So we’ll look at some language to help us show that.
You will learn a lot of new vocabulary, and of course I have a challenge question so that you can immediately practice using some of this vocabulary to describe yourself. And then over the next few weeks, we’ll get very deep on some of the most common vocabulary words, expressions and idioms that we use so that you can start using them as well.
So, someone asks you, “How would you describe yourself?” The way that we typically begin describing our personality is with sentence starters such as, I would say that. For example, “I would say that I’m a really good listener.” Or, “I would say that I am very reliable.” Another way to express that is, “I would describe myself as a very shy person. I would describe her as an extrovert.” And one more example, “I would like to think that.” “I would like to think that…” We often use this when we say something that we want to believe about ourselves. For example, “I would like to think that I’m a great listener. I would like to think that I’m a very easy-going person.”
Those are three very simple, very common ways to build the sentence that you might need to describe who you are, or even someone else’s personality.
When we talk about personality traits, there are often two opposite extremes. For example, we could talk about someone who is extremely shy. Very shy. Totally shy. And someone who is extremely social, or talkative, outgoing. But many of us are somewhere in the middle. Or maybe we tend to be more shy than talkative. And there are many words that we can use to express that easily in English.
For example, a bit, kind of, a little bit, pretty. And in this case, pretty does not mean beautiful, it means usually or most of the time. For example, I could say, “I’m pretty reserved at work.” “I’m pretty reserved at work. But with my friends I’m really talkative.” Or, “I’m a bit of an introvert.” I’m a bit of an introvert. Which means I lean towards introversion. Most of the time, I’m more introverted. I prefer to spend my time alone or with a small group of people.
Of course, the other side of that is, “He’s such an extrovert. He’s so extroverted. He’s a total extrovert.” These words help us show where we are on the scale of those opposite traits. These words are also useful to help us soften some of the more negative traits that we sometimes have.
For example, maybe you’re talking about your personality with a friend and maybe you’re a moody person. Maybe you have the tendency to sometimes be very positive and happy and excited and the world is wonderful, and then very quickly it all changes and you can be in a really bad mood. We use the word moody to describe this. And it’s not a really positive trait, so we might say, “I can be a bit moody.” I can be a bit moody. So it helps to soften that trait for us. It doesn’t sound so strong, or so negative.
Another example might be, “I can be kind of bossy.” I can be kind of bossy. Bossy is a word that we use when we love to tell other people what to do. Do the dishes. Do this for me. Get that. It’s very bossy. Again, not a super positive trait, so we soften it and maybe make it a little bit light, a little bit fun by saying, “Okay, I can be kind of bossy.” It means not all the time, I’m not at the extreme side of bossy, but sometimes it happens.
In today’s online lesson I’ve written down all of the examples that we’ve talked about in this video, plus some additional examples. And I’ve shared with you four stories about people describing their personality. I asked them the question, “How would you describe yourself to a stranger?” And they shared their examples with you.
I’ve highlighted the vocabulary, the expressions and even some phrasal verbs that are useful to use so that you can use them in describing your own personality or someone else’s. In those descriptions, I’ve given you the definitions but I’ve also given you synonyms so that you can grow your vocabulary and have a variety of words to choose from when you’re talking on this topic.
So now, it’s your turn to go to the online lesson and review those stories. Learn all these new words that we have for talking about personalities. And then, make sure that you go to the challenge question at the end so that you have the opportunity to immediately practice that language.
And with that, thank you so much for joining me. I love having you here every Wednesday. And I’ll see you next week for your Confident English Wednesday lesson.