Hu­man char­ac­ter

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A. In­tel­lec­tual abil­ity

Abil­ity: in­tel­li­gent bright smart able gifted clever shrewd tal­ented brainy (col­lo­quial)

Lack­ing abil­ity: stupid fool­ish sim­ple silly brain­less dumb clue­less

(the last three are col­lo­quial)

Clever, in a neg­a­tive way, us­ing brains to trick or de­ceive: cun­ning crafty sly

B. At­ti­tudes to­ward life

Look­ing on the bright side or the dark side: op­ti­mistic pes­simistic Out­ward-look­ing or in­ward-look­ing: ex­tro­verted in­tro­vered

Calm or not calm: re­laxed tense/anx­ious

Prac­ti­cal, not dreamy: sen­si­ble down to earth

Feel­ing things in­tensely: sen­si­tive

C. At­ti­tudes to­ward other peo­ple

En­joy­ing oth­ers’ com­pany: so­cia­ble gre­gar­i­ous con­ge­nial

Dis­agree­ing with oth­ers: quar­rel­some ar­gu­men­ta­tive

Tak­ing plea­sure in oth­ers’ pain: cruel sadis­tic Re­laxed in at­ti­tude to­ward self and oth­ers: easy-go­ing even-tem­pered af­fa­ble

Not po­lite to oth­ers: im­po­lite rude ill­man­nered dis­cour­te­ous (for­mal) Telling the truth/keeps prom­ises: hon­est trust­wor­thy re­li­able sin­cere Un­happy if oth­ers have what one does not: jeal­ous en­vi­ous

D. One per­son’s meat is an­other one’s poi­son Some char­ac­ter­is­tics can be ei­ther pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive de­pend­ing on your point of view. The words in the right-hand col­umn mean roughly the same as the words in the left-hand col­umn ex­cept that they have neg­a­tive rather than pos­i­tive con­no­ta­tions. Pos­i­tive Neg­a­tive de­ter­mined ob­sti­nate stub­born pig­headed thrifty/eco­nom­i­cal stingy tight-fisted miserly cheap (col­lo­quial) self-as­sured/con­fi­dent self-im­por­tant ar­ro­gant smug as­sertive ag­gres­sive bossy (col­lo­quial) un­con­ven­tional/orig­i­nal pe­cu­liar weird ec­cen­tric odd flaky (col­lo­quial) frank/di­rect/open blunt abrupt brusque curt broad-minded in­quir­ing gen­er­ous in­no­cent am­bi­tious un­prin­ci­pled per­mis­sive pry­ing nosy ex­trav­a­gant ex­ces­sive naive pushy (col­lo­quial)


I) Match these words with their op­po­sites

1. bright in­tro­verted

2. ex­tro­verted tight-fisted

3. rude cour­te­ous

4. cruel gre­gar­i­ous

5. gen­er­ous kind-hearted

6. unso­cia­ble stupid

II) Do you think that the speaker likes or dis­likes the peo­ple in these sen­tences?

1. Diane’s very thrifty.

2. Nancy’s usu­ally frank.

3. Jim’s re­ally de­ter­mined

4. Paul can be bossy.

5. Dick is aw­fully pushy.

6. I find An­nemarie ar­ro­gant.

7. Molly is some­what nosy.

8. Jack is kind of un­con­ven­tional.

III) Re­word the sen­tences above to give the op­po­site im­pres­sion.

Ex­am­ple: Diane’s very stingy.

IV) Mag­a­zines of­ten pub­lish ques­tion­naires that are sup­posed to an­a­lyse your characer. Look at the words and match them to the cor­re­spond­ing ques­tions. Ex­am­ple: If you ar­range to meet some­one at 7 pm, do you ar­rive at 7 pm?

pes­simistic ar­gu­men­ta­tive sen­si­tive so­cia­ble ex­trav­a­gant as­sertive in­quir­ing Re­li­able

1. Do you pre­fer to be in the com­pany of other peo­ple?

2. Look at the pic­ture. Do you think, “My glass is half empty?”

3. Do you find it easy to tell your boss if you feel he/she has treated you badly?

4. Do you al­ways look out the win­dow if you hear a car pull up?

5. Do you buy lots of things that you don’t re­ally need?

6. Do you fre­quently dis­agree with what other peo­ple say?

7. Do you lie awake at night if some­one has said some­thing un­kind to you?

V) What ques­tions could you ask to try to find out whether a per­son is the fol­low­ing:

1. thrifty 3. sen­si­ble 5. even-tem­pered

7. ob­sti­nate

2. blunt 4. naive 6. un­con­ven­tional

8. con­fi­dent

I) Op­po­sites:

1. bright - stupid

2. ex­tro­verted - in­tro­verted

3. rude - cour­te­ous

4. cruel - kind­hearted

`` 5. gen­er­ous - tight - fisted

6. unso­cia­ble - gre­gar­i­ous

II) 1. likes 2. likes 3. likes 4. dis­like

5. dis­likes 6. dis­likes

7. dis­likes 8. likes

III) 2. Nancy’s usu­ally blunt.

3. Jim’s re­ally stub­born

4. Paul can be as­sertive

5. Dick is aw­fully am­bi­tious.

6. I find An­nemarie self-as­sured.

7. Molly is some­what in­quir­ing.

8. Jack is kind of flaky


1. so­cia­ble 2. pes­simistic 3. as­sertive

4. in­quir­ing 5. ex­trav­a­gant 6. ar­gu­men­ta­tive

7. sen­si­tive V) Pos­si­ble ques­tions:

1. thrifty - Do you al­ways try to buy things on sale rather than at full price?

2. blunt - If a friend asks you if you like her ugly new dress, would you say “No”?

3. sen­si­ble - If you won a lot of money, would you put it in sav­ings rather than spend it on a lux­ury item you’re al­ways wanted?

4. naive - Do you al­ways trust what peo­ple say or be­lieve any prom­ises they make?

5. even-tem­pered - If some­one spills soup on your new clothes, do you just sigh and say “That’s life”?

6. un­con­ven­tional - Do you refuse to wear blue jeans be­cause you don’t want to look like ev­ery­one else?

7. ob­sti­nate - Do you be­come even more de­ter­mined to do some­thing if peo­ple try to per­suade you not to?

8. con­fi­dent - Would you feel calm and undis­turbed if you had to make a speech in front of a group of peo­ple?

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