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Describing someone in Italian (adjectives, body)

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In this lesson you will learn how to describe somebody in Italian.

Introducing someone in Italian

The following expressions can be useful to introduce somebody.

ItalianEnglish
Lui/Lei è (nome/cognome)He/she is (name/surname)
Questo/Questa è (nome/cognome)This is (name/surname) 
Nella foto vediamo (nome/cognome)In the picture we see (name/surname)
 

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Physical description (features)

In the following table you can find body parts matched with some possible features.

Body partFeatureEnglish
Gli occhi
(The eyes)

Azzurri
Marroni
Verdi
Neri
Grandi
Piccoli
A mandorla
Tondi
Portare gli occhiali

Blue eyes
Brown eyes
Green eyes
Black eyes
Big eyes
Small eyes
Almond-shaped eyes
Round eyes
To wear glasses

I capelli
(The hair)

Biondi
Castani
Neri
Rossi
Grigi/Bianchi
Lisci
Ricci
Mossi
Corti
Lunghi
La coda
La frangetta

Blonde hair
Brown hair
Black hair
Red hair
Grey/White hair
Straight hair
Curly hair
Wavy hair
Short hair
Long hair
Ponytail
Bangs

Il naso
(The nose)

Piccolo
Grande
Storto

Little nose
Big nose
Crooked nose
La bocca
(The mouth)
Piccola
Grande
Small mouth
Big mouth


To know more about the body parts, click here: Body parts in Italian

Take a look at the following examples.

ItalianEnglish
Maria ha i capelli lunghi e lisci e gli occhi azzurri.Maria has straight long hair and blue eyes.
Marco gli occhi marroni e i capelli biondi.Marco has bown eyes and blond hair.

General description (pretty, strong, handsome)

In the following table you can find an useful list of adjectives to describe the general aspect and features of someone.

positiveEnglishnegativeEnglish

abbronzato

suntannedpallidopale

affascinante

charmingripugnanterepulsive

alto

tallbassoshort

atletico

athleticgracile
esile
slender

barbuto

beardedsbarbatoshaved

bello

handsomebruttougly

capellone

long-hairedcalvo / pelatobald
eleganteeleganttrasandato

shabby

energico

dynamicfiaccoslack

forte

strongdebole / fragileweak

giovane

youngvecchioold

grazioso

pretty

sgraziato

ungraceful

incantevole

fascinatingorribilehorrible

magro

thingrassofat

robusto

robustmuscolosomuscular


Let's see some examples.

ItalianEnglish
Mio fratello è molto alto, e invece mia sorella è bassa. My brother is very tall, whereas my sister is short.
La zia di Marco è elegante mentre lo zio è sempre trasandato.Marco's aunt is elegant, whereas the uncle is always shabby.

Personality description

In the following table you can find an useful list of adjectives to describe the personality of someone.

PositiveEnglishNegativeEnglish
abile
capace
capableincapace
maldestro
clumsy
accoglientewelcominginospitaleunwelcoming
affidabilereliableinaffidabileunreliable
allegrocheerfulmalinconicomelancholy
altruistaselflessegoistaselfish
ambiziosoambitiousrinunciatariodefeatist
amichevolefriendlyostilehostile
appassionatoenthusiasticindifferenteindifferent
astutowilyingenuonaive
attentoattentive/carefuldistrattodistracted
bravogoodcattivobad
calmoquietagitatoshaken
chiacchieronetalkativetaciturnosilent
coerentecoherentincoerenteincoherent
coltoeducatedrozzoboorish
comprensivounderstandingintransigenteintransigent
conosciutofamoussconosciutounknown
coraggiosobravepauroso / vigliaccofearful / coward
cortese / gentilekindscorteserude
decisodeterminedindecisoundecided
diplomaticodiplomaticsfacciatocheeky
discretodiscreetinvadenteintrusive
divertentefunnoiosoboring
educatopolitemaleducatounpolite
estroversoextrovertedintroverso / timidoshy
fedelefaithfulinfedeleunfaithful
felicehappyinfeliceunhappy
sicuro di sèconfidentdiffidentereluctant
gradevole / piacevolepleasantsgradevole / fastidiosounpleasant / annoying
intelligentecleverstupidostupid
istruitoeducatedignoranteuneducated
laboriosohard−workingpigrolazy
lealeloyalslealedisloyal
liberofreeoccupato / impegnatobusy
maturomatureimmaturoimmature
modestomodestvanitosoconceited
obbedienteobedientdisobbedientedisobedient
onestohonestdisonestodishonest
ordinatotidydisordinatountidy
organizzatoorganiseddisorganizzatodisorganised
ottimistaoptimisticpessimistapessimistic
pacificopeacefullitigiosolitigious
pazientepatientimpazienteimpatient
perfettoperfectimperfettoimperfect
pratico pragmaticinespertoinexpert
premuroso attentivenoncurantecareless
pulito cleansporcodirty
puntualepunctualritardatariolatecomer
responsabileresponsibleirresponsabileirresponsable
riccorichpoveropoor
riconoscentegratefulingratoungrateful
rilassatorelaxedstressatostressed
saggiowisepazzocrazy
sensibilesensitiveinsensibileinsensitive
sicuroconfidentinsicuroinsecure
simpaticoniceantipaticounpleasant
sincerosincerebugiardoliar
socievoleoutgoingsolitarioloner
soddisfattosatisfiedinsoddisfattounsatisfied
spigliatoat easeimbarazzatoawkward
umilehumblepresuntuosopretentious
velocefastlentoslow

 

Check out the following examples.

ItalianEnglish
Invece di essere sempre così egoista, prova ad essere più altruista.Instead of always being so selfish, try to be more altruistic.
Qualche anno fa era ancora molto immaturo, mentre ora è più maturo.Some years ago he was still very immature, whereas now he is more mature.

 

Adjectives declension rules

When describing someone, the adjectives we saw in the tables must be declined according to gender and number.
Here's a short recap.

Regular declension

Most adjectives follow this pattern of declension.

  • Masculine singular: -o;

  • Feminine singular: -a;

  • Masculine plural: -i; 

  • Feminine plural: -e.

Take a look at the following examples.

ItalianEnglish
Sara è una persona onesta.Sara is a honest person.
Gli amici di Paolo sono molto simpatici.Paolo's friends are very nice.

Irregular declension

The following adjectives are irregular and must be learned by heart.

  • endings in -e;

  • endings in -a;

  • endings in -tore;

  • roots ending in -c or -g;

  • invariable adjectives.

Take a look at the following examples.

ItalianEnglish
Mario è sensibile e anche la sua ragazza è sensibile.Mario is sensitive and also his girlfriend is sensitive.
Le tue amiche sono molto socievoli.Your girl friends are very outgoing.

Short stories

Story 1

Marco ha i capelli castani e gli occhi azzurri. Ha il naso piccolo e un po' di barba.
(Marco has brown hair and blue eyes. He has a small nose and a bit of beard.)
Marco è alto e magro. E' un ragazzo altruista, positivo, sicuro di sè e paziente.
(Marco is tall and thin. He's a selfless, positive, confident and a patient guy.)
Ha un unico difetto: è un po' ritardatario.
(He has only one flaw: he's a bit of a latecomer.)
 

Story 2

Chiara è una chiacchierona, è estroversa e adora conoscere nuove persone.
(Chiara is very talkative, she is outgoing and loves to meet new people.)
Ha i capelli rossi e ricci, e gli occhi verdi.
(She has red curly hair, and green eyes.)
E' robusta e alta.
(She is robust and tall.)
A volte è una persona un po' pigra.
(Sometimes she is a bit of a lazy person.)

Story 3

Luca ha i capelli neri e gli occhi neri. E' basso, e questo lo rende insicuro.
(Luca has black hair and black eyes. He is short and this makes him insecure.)
Lui è molto curioso ed intelligente, molto laborioso.
(He is very curious and smart, very hard-working.)
Spesso è taciturno e non si capisce cosa pensa.
(Sometimes he is silent, you can't understand what he is thinking about.)
In generale, è un ragazzo molto affidabile.
(Generally, he is a very reliable guy.)


Exercises

  1. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (body) - Drag text
  2. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (body) - Flashcards
  3. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (body) - Fill in the blanks
  4. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (aspect) - Drag text
  5. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (aspect) - Single choice set
  6. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (aspect) - Fill in the blanks
  7. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (personality) - Drag text
  8. Exercise on describing someone in Italian (personality) - Fill in the blanks.
  9. Exercise on the short stories of the lesson - Fill in the blanks

Exercise on describing someone in Italian (body) - Drag text


Exercise on describing someone in Italian (body) - Flashcards


Exercise on describing someone in Italian (body) - Fill in the blanks


Exercise on describing someone in Italian (aspect) - Drag text


Exercise on describing someone in Italian (aspect) - Single choice set


Exercise on describing someone in Italian (aspect) - Fill in the blanks


Exercise on describing someone in Italian (personality) - Drag text


Exercise on describing someone in Italian (personality) - Fill in the blanks.


Exercise on the short stories of the lesson - Fill in the blanks


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