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
2. blunt 4. naive 6. unconventional
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?