Physical Descriptions

English Vocabulary

The language for physical descriptions in English is quite specific depending on the physical characteristic you are describing.

When giving physical descriptions, the two most common verbs to use are BE and HAVE, however, they are quite specific.

We use BE for: height, weight, skin colour.

We use HAVE for: hair (length), hair (style), hair (colour) and facial features.

Short - Medium height - Tall

Skinny - Thin - Slim - Medium weight - chubby - fat - overweight - obese

Skin Colour
Fair-skinned - Tanned - Dark-skinned

Hair (Length)
Short - Medium length - Long

Hair (Style)
Straight - Wavy - Curly

Facial Features
Beard - Black Eye - Moustache - Pimples

Other Features
Mole - Scar - Wart - Wrinkles


  • Chris is medium height.
  • Tanya has blonde hair.
  • Albert is overweight.
  • Donna has curly hair and is tanned.
  • Patrick has a long beard and he also has a black eye right now.
  • Tony is tall and has medium length hair.

If you want to combine hair characteristics together in the same sentence, then the structure is:

Length + Style + Colour + Hair

  • Michael has short curly black hair.
  • Mary has long wavy brown hair.

Try our interactive game to practice these words at: Physical Descriptions Game

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Last Updated: 05 November 2014

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