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USEFUL WORDS/PHRASES/SENTENCES FOR DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS

Useful phrases describing weather


a) The sky and clouds:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

The high sunlit clouds drifted across a clear blue sky.


The sky above was full of tumultuous, dark, ragged clouds.
A sky of mackerel clouds, crimson and amber-tinted.
It was a grey afternoon with a dull sky threatening rain.
A cloud, ominous and black, drifted over the mountain and released a sudden
shower.

(b) Sunrise and sunset:


1. The sun rose in a pool of crimson and gold, spilling light all over the land and the
white clouds.
2. From freezing night, it turned to scorching day as the sun climbed towards its zenith.
3. As the sun set, the few thin strips of clouds on the horizon turned shimmering gold.It
was a lovely walk, with the sun setting behind the mountain in a sea of liquid gold.
4. The sunsets have been glorious lately, all rosy and salmon- pink.
(c) Lightning and thunder:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Thunder came marching from far away with increasing tread.


Lightning and thunder raged with fury.
A flash of forked lightning and a great clap of thunder came close upon each other.
A bolt of lightning tore across the sky and a peal of thunder followed.

(d) Wind and rain:


1. The wind was sighing and thrashing in the tree tops and the boughs moaned.
2. The morning was cold and wet with a brisk wind sweeping the rain across the land.
3. A curtain of rain beat down from the heavens.

(e) The moon:


1. The moon was abnormally large and it bathed the earth with its luminous glow.
GOOD / BEAUTIFUL WEATHER
1. The sun shone brilliantly and the water in the pond glittered invitingly.
2. The sun filtered through the clouds, signalling the end of the rain.
3.

A golden glow spread across the sky as the sun chased the dark clouds away.

4. The whole landscape was bathed in the warm glow of the rising sun.
5. Palm trees swayed gently in the breeze in the warm tropical sunshine.

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6. Fresh air filled my lungs and I felt refreshed and exhilarated.


7. The breath-taking scenery captivated everyone.
8. The pond was bathed in a golden hue by the gentle sunlight and the water was as
clear as crystal.
9. The sunlit clouds drifted across a clear blue sky.
10. The sun rose in a pool of crimson and gold, spilling light all over the land and the
white clouds.
11. Descriptive Phrases on Scenery
Sunrise/Sunset
- The sun rays glint brightly in the clear waters.
- The sunset was glorious, all rosy and salmon-pink.
- The sun-lit sky and sea blend perfectly into each other.
- The awe-inspiring sun danced in from the horizon.
- Dews on the blades of grass sparkled in the sunlight.
- The high sunlit clouds drifted across a clear blue sky.
- A torch of fire started to light up the darkness around us.
- Basking in the golden rays, I hope to have a flattering tan.
- The unending bright sky was glorious luminous blue and pink.
- The sky was overwhelmed by crimson and amber-tinted clouds.
- The sun filtered through the clouds, signaling the end of the rain.
- It was a blindingly hot day and the humidity in the air was stifling.
- The whole landscape was bathed in the warm glow of the rising sun.
- Palm trees swayed to the gentle breeze in the warm tropical sunshine.
- The sun and the moon were visible in the clear blue early morning sky.
- The sun shone brilliantly and the water in the pond glittered invitingly.
- Windows threw wide in the hope of tempting in a non-existent breeze.
- A golden glow spread across the sky as the sun chased the dark clouds away.
- As the sun set, the few thin strips of clouds on the horizon turned shimmering gold.
- It was a lovely walk, with the sun setting behind the mountain in a sea of liquid gold.
- From freezing night, it turned to scorching day as the sun climbed towards its zenith.
How to Describe a Person
Its good to let your kids struggle with the initial writing process. As they wrestle with ideas
and words, it will remind them of the importance of thorough and effective brainstorming.
The following ideas will help them improve their descriptive paragraphs as they think of more
concrete ways to describe a persons appearance.
TIP: Students shouldnt be expected to include every descriptive element listed below.
Rather, a few well-chosen details will go a long way toward bringing their subject to life.
Face Shape

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Square

Heart-shaped

Oval

Thin

Round

Wide

Triangular

Chiseled

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Skin and Complexion

Complexion is the natural appearance and colour of the skin, especially of the face. For
example, Mary has a soft, creamy complexion.

Wrinkled: covered with lines or loose folds of skin; often associated with age

Freckled: sprinkled or covered with light brown spots

Ruddy: skin that has a reddish tint; may have the appearance of sunburn

Sallow: skin that has a yellowish tint; may be associated with illness

Tanned: skin with a warm, golden-brown tint

Rosy or fresh-faced: pink-cheeked, fair complexion that glows with a hint of pink

Other skin-related adjectives: pale, fair, spotless, silky, smooth, creamy, dewy, babysoft, peaches-and-cream, glowing, paper-thin or translucent (as with a very old person),
sunburned, peeling, rough, callused, weathered, weather-beaten, craggy, leathery, mottled,
dry, brown, dark

Eyes
TIP: Pay attention to the eyes, as they often reveal much about a person.

Shape, size, and appearance: large, small, almond-shaped, round, squinty, crinkly,
bulging, heavy-lidded, hooded, deep-set, close-set, hollow, tear-filled

Eye colour: black, brown, hazel, green, blue, violet, gray, amber

Eye expressions: piercing, mesmerizing, sad, sorrowful, haunted, gentle, sympathetic,


warm, compassionate, expressive, bright, twinkling, lively, dancing, laughing, shifty, sly,
distrusting, sleepy

Other: brown-eyed boy, bright-eyed sister, wide-eyed child, gold-flecked eyes

Mouth and Lips

Lip shape and size: thin, full, pouting, rosebud (babys lips, often), pursed (puckered
up, as when concentrating)

Mouth expressions: laugh, smile, beam, grin, frown, grimace, scowl, sneer, curl, pout

Adjectives describing the mouth or mouth expressions: toothy, toothless, gaptoothed, kind, sweet, dimpled, relaxed, firm, serious, cruel, snarling

Hair
Hair colour: black, brunette, brown, chestnut-brown, blond, honey-blond, golden-blond, ashblond, fair, cornsilk, auburn, red, strawberry-blond, gray, silver, white, salt-and-pepper

Texture or appearance: wispy, fuzzy, wavy, curly, kinky, frizzy, wild, untamed,
unmanageable, straight, spiky, stiff, buzzed, shaved, parted, neatly-combed, tamed,
cascading, long, short, cropped, dull, shiny

Hair styles: braids, ponytail, pigtails, bun, messy bun, twist, bob, ringlets, flip, cornrows,
extensions, bangs, buzz, layered, feathered, chopped, gelled, spiked, slicked down

Lots of hair: thick, full, lustrous, bushy, coarse, wiry, stiff

Little hair: thin, scraggly, fine, baby-fine, downy, wispy, limp, flat, balding, bald, bald
spot, receding (gradual loss of hair at the front of the head)

Treated hair: permed, dyed, bleached, highlighted, weaved, streaked, coloured

Facial Hair

Hair: beard, goatee, mustache, soul patch, sideburns

Beard growth: stubble, fuzz, peach fuzz, bristles, five oclock shadow (describes new
beard growth thats shadowy in appearance. Its usually more noticeable late in the day on
the jaw, chin, or cheek area, but some men purposely grow five oclock shadows.)

Adjectives: bearded, bushy, stubbly, bristly, scratchy, unshaven, shaggy, whiskered,


beardless, clean-shaven, smooth, trimmed, neatly-trimmed, pencil-thin

Body
TIP: Choose strong verbs and adjectives.

Build: small, slim, slight, thin, lean, willowy, skinny, angular, bony, fine-boned, chunky,
chubby, large, portly, plump, round, stout, pudgy, full-figured, ample, broad-shouldered, burly,
solid, muscular

Posture: stand, sit, slouch, flop, lean, recline, rest, stretch, sprawl, curl up, roost,
squirm, arch, slump, stoop, bend, hunch, scoot, walk, run, race, jog

Clothing

Fabric: denim, twill, wool, cashmere, cotton, linen, seersucker, gingham, lace, chiffon,
tulle, velvet, velveteen, fleece, flannel, tweed, polyester, jersey, corduroy, spandex, leather

Bottoms: jeans, skinny jeans, cargo pants, flat-front pants, pleated pants, slacks,
trousers, overalls, sweatpants, crop pants, capris, skirt, shorts, board shorts

Tops: sport shirt, dress shirt, polo shirt, button-down shirt, tank top, blouse, tunic, longsleeve, short-sleeve, sleeveless, collared, T-shirt, V-neck, scoop-neck, turtleneck, sweatshirt,
hoodie, pullover, sweater, cardigan, sweater set

Other clothing: dress, gown, frock, uniform, coveralls, costume, pajamas, bathrobe,
robe, vest, jacket, blazer, coat, apron

Footwear: socks, stockings, shoes, slippers, sandals, flip-flops, loafers, heels,


pumps, boots, ankle boots, riding boots, slouch boots, athletic shoes, sneakers, tennis
shoes, gym shoes, runners

Accessories: mittens, gloves, hat, cap, head wrap, bandana, scarf, muffler, necklace,
choker, bracelet, ring, earrings, cuffs, cufflinks, purse, clutch, bag, tote, sunglasses,
eyeglasses, glasses

Adjectives (appearance): stylish, natty, smart, chic, classy, elegant, polished, draped,
flowing, sheer, casual, relaxed, carefree, starched, crisp, sharp, dressy, lacy, shiny,
shimmering, sparkling, glittery, sloppy, torn, ripped, tattered, disheveled, slovenly, tacky,
unkempt, faded, scratchy, worn, frayed, nubby, rough, smooth, pliable, warm, soft, quilted,
knit

Adjectives (patterns): striped, solid, plaid, checked, floral print, geometric print

Sentence Starters Describing Clothes (Encourage your students to write more maturely by
using strong sentence openings.)

Smartly dressed in (name of garment), the woman

Casually attired in (name of garment), Chloe

Simply clad in (name of garment), Mark

Uncle Max sported a (name of garment)

Wearing a (name of garment), the detective

Feelings and Emotions


How to express feelings?
How do you describe a person who is angry?
He turned red with fury.

Her face was contorted with rage and fury.


Jimmy was so angry that his blood boiled.
Laras voice crackled with anger.
An angry frown creased her forehead.
A wave of futile rage swept over him.
Venom spewed from his lips as he cursed belligerently.
She was like a bull in a china shop.
Seething with anger, she approached Ben menacingly.
Her eyes flashed with anger and resentment.
His anger turned into violence.
How do you describe a person who is sad?
Tears welled up in his eyes and began rolling down her cheeks like rivulets.
No one could express his agony.
She was on the brink of tears.
He felt the whole world collapsing upon him.
Dark clouds seemed to constantly loom over her head.
She felt as if her heart had been ripped from her body.
He cried his heart out on hearing the tragic news.
She fell to her knees, clutching her head in despair.
He felt the whole weight of the world upon her shoulders.
His eyes were puffy and red after all the crying.
How do you describe a person who is shock/frightened?
Panic started to engulf Timmy.
The cold black night pierced his very bones.
Terror seized us all.
Paralyzed with fear, he could not command his legs to run.
The shock robbed him of speech.
The blood drained from his face when he heard the tragic news.
A chill ran down his spine.
His hair stood on ends as a cry rang high into the night.
She screamed her head off when she saw the corpse.
Overcome with fright, she lost her balance and fell down in a swoon.
She stood rooted to the ground.
A haze of fear surrounded her.
He stood motionless with horror.
Frightening thoughts race through her mind.
She felt a wave of fear rush through her.
He stood stunned and speechless by his sudden rebuke.
She was at loss for words.
They huddled together and stared apprehensively into the darkness.
How do you describe a person who is happy?
He was over the moon when he heard the good news.
She was floating on air when her teacher praised her.
She could hardly contain her joy.
Her eyes glittered with tears of joy.

It seemed as if a smile was plastered on her face.


They were saturated with happiness.
She felt as if the whole world was on her side.
He nearly fell over in elation after learning that he had won the prize.
Her bright smile was infectious, lighting up the room.
Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks.
To describe fear
1. I blinked sweat from my eyes
2. My heart almost stopped beating
3. His eyes staring in disbelief
4. Wild with fear
5. My stomach turned to ice
6. Frozen to the spot
7. They hurried along the silent alley, as though driven by shuddering fear.
8. Terror held me like a vice-like grip.
9. The torture of my indecision and fear threatened to crush me.
10. Those death-like eyes, devoid of all emotions...
11. Like the cold breath of a grave, her words seemed to cut my very soul.
12. I was struck into silence.
13. A ghastly whiteness spread over her face.
14. His face a frozen in a glassy stare of horror
15. I stared at the corpse with a grim and shuddering fascination.
16. An uncomfortable premonition of fear pervaded his senses.
Describe various emotions
Every morning, Sam is so enthusiastic to begin his day that he jumps out of bed and begins to
sing.
His mother became worried when she didn't hear from him for two days.
David is quite shy so he doesn't like talking to people he doesn't know.
A year after being fired from his job, Alan is still very bitter. He has a lot of resentment towards
his former boss.
Even though I am accustomed to traveling for business, I still get homesick if I am away from
my home for more than a week.
Katie feels threatened every time her boyfriend talks to another girl. She thinks that every girl
wants to steal him.
In the U.S., Thanksgiving is a holiday in which people give thanks for the blessings they have.
Before the Thanksgiving meal, family members will say what they are thankful for.

I am absolutely furious!! I cannot believe that my dog chewed my favorite shoes. Now they're
ruined!
Cats are so curious that they often get into trouble. Once, my cat fell into the bath tub because
she wanted to know what was inside!
When Dave found out that the plumber charged him double the normal amount to fix his toilet,
he felt cheated.
After his grandmother passed away, Ken was so grief-stricken he couldn't get out of bed.
When Emily has a lot of work to do and feels stressed, she becomes very tense and cannot
relax.
Our friend Lily makes us feel left out when she has a party but doesn't invite us.
Even in hard times when I don't have a lot of money, I stay hopeful and believe that next month
will be better.
My aunts enjoy inviting me to their romance book club. I always feel trapped because I don't
want to hurt their feelings by saying no, but I also don't want to go and listen to sixty-year old
women talk about romance.
As a teenager, Alexandra liked to be rebellious and defy her parents. She used to sneak out of
the house after her parents fell asleep to go to parties.
When I see that puzzled look on your face, I know that you didn't understand my question.
Mr. and Mrs. Porter are very cautious about answering their door. If they are not expecting a
visitor, they won't open the door.
Wow! I'm really impressed that Ashley can speak 7 languages, whereas I only speak one!
Ugh! I don't have anything to do. I'm so bored!!
It's difficult to not become discouraged while looking for a job, especially when you hand out
your resume to employers and no one calls you.
After Kylie had her heart broken by her ex-boyfriend, she felt so down and blue. I tried to cheer
her up, but she just wants to be sad for a while.

In many countries, American-style business tactics are perceived as too aggressive. American
businessmen don't want to waste time talking about anything that doesn't pertain to business. In
Asia, for example, a slower, more personal approach to doing business is preferred.
Affectionate children always want to be held in their parents' arms and receive lots of hugs and
kisses.
He felt invincible and was sure that nobody would beat him.
When I found out that Santa Claus wasn't real, I was so disappointed that all of the presents
really came from my parents and not the North Pole.
Craig felt uncertain as to whether he should accept the attractive job offer or keep his current,
less glamorous job. He just wasn't sure what to do.
Grandpa was very proud of me when I got a promotion at work. He took me out to dinner to
celebrate.
When Eve handed Adam a shiny, red apple, he felt tempted to taste the delicious-looking fruit.
Kelly is so indecisive that she couldn't make a decision if her life depended on it!
I'm a little doubtful about whether to get married or not.
The cowardly dog refused to leave his hiding spot underneath the bed to help his owner
investigate the strange sound outside.
We are delighted that you will be coming to visit us. It will be so nice to have you here.
The actors were humiliated by the newspaper critic's review of their new movie. The respected
critic said the film was as pleasant as week-old garbage rotting in the sun.
After waiting in line for an hour at the bank, the woman grew impatient and left.
Ebenezer Scrooge was a stingy old miser who never shared his wealth with anyone.
The stubborn employee refused to accept that he made a mistake. He kept insisting that he
wasn't wrong.
Patrick felt quite awkward going to his ex-girlfriend's wedding. He thought maybe shouldn't go
since it could be uncomfortable to see her again.

My mother came home exhausted after working a 12-hour shift at the hospital. She went
straight to bed.
Carrie didn't feel satisfied with the report she wrote. It needed to be perfect to present it to her
boss, and it was still missing quite a few details.
Her husband is so moody that she never knows if he will be happy or angry when she gets
home from work.
I am anxious to hear back about the job interview I had on Friday. I hope I get the job!
After his wife left him, he was so miserable that he stopped shaving, gained 20 kilos, and didn't
leave the house for weeks at a time.
It's said that children without siblings grow up to be selfish adults because they never learn to
share with others.
They were shocked to learn that their beloved neighbor, Miss Ann, had stolen their car. She
was such a sweet, 90-year old lady.
Jamie was in a bar with his friends one night when he saw a beautiful girl. He felt confident that
night so he went to go talk to her. Unfortunately, he returned to his friends within minutes
feeling rejected after she refused to talk to him. Poor Jamie.
Walking to the bank to deposit money makes me very uneasy. I'm always scared someone is
going to rob me.
Nothing makes me more upset than when I fail my exams. I feel depressed the rest of the day.
Many times, co-workers feel burdened with the task of covering the mistakes of their
irresponsible colleagues.
In case of an emergency, stay calm and move toward the exits.
Once, I got a horrible haircut that left me looking I got electrocuted. For months, I felt selfconscious about going outside my house. I swear everyone was laughing at me.
I don't feel energetic right now, if fact I feel quite lazy and I don't want to do anything.
Maggie is a fearless friend of mine. She will try anything once, no matter how dangerous the
activity is.

Although the storm destroyed many of the buildings along the shore, we feel fortunate that our
house didn't suffer any damage.
I'm concerned about Gregory. He has been very withdrawn from the rest of the world ever
since he lost his job.
Allison broke up with her boyfriend because of his jealous behaviour. He never let her talk to
other men and always screened her calls.
Example 1: physical description
The face of the Burglar
I had a chance to see the man face to face when he was running away to the street. The
man, about forties, has an oval face. His dark brown hair is curly and thick, covering some
area of the forehead, and the hair is not well -kept. His ears are small and almost hidden
inside the thick hair. Under his heavy eyeglass frames are almond-shaped dark eyes, and
the two curved eyebrows are thin and narrow. He has a large nose and a full-lipped mouth.
Bushy sideburns, an arched moustache and an unshaven face make him look messy. A mole
on the right side of his cheek above the moustache can be a unique feature for identifying
him. His nervous facial expression, I think, proves that he is the exact one the police want.
Example 2 : Describing Personality Trait

Carol has extreme emotional responses, both when happy or angry. When she found out she was
accepted to her first choice for college, she threw her head back, long brown curls flying, raised
those slender arms toward the sky and immediately broke into dance moves that I had never seen
before, as she sang Dont Stop Believin and threw those long legs all over the room. And one day,
when someone stole a parking space she had been waiting for, I watched her follow that man all the
way into the store, shaking her finger and calling him a rude guy and several other terms I wont
mention here.
Carol has a completely contagious laugh. When she laughs her entire body is involved. Those long
brown curls fly about her face and shoulders, and all 5 4 of her is somehow involved. And when she
is angry, watch out. Those piercing brown eyes are throwing daggers of light, and those long legs
are poised in a true fighting stance, like she is ready to go 16 rounds.

Sample essay
My father

At first sight, you could see that his clothes are classy and formal; however, if you know him as I
do, you could notice that he dresses all kind of clothes; tight-fitting, dark clear, cheap,
expensive, soft, formal, informal, sportive. All his clothes are different, and I like them, but being
honest, there is a jacket that I do not like at all, it is heavy, brow and in my opinion a little bit
oldie. His clothes fit well with the way he looks, my father is tall and thin, he always has his hair
cut short, and he is grey- haired. In other words my dads appearance is simply unique.
Moving to his appearance, I could say that the way he acts and moves is an important part of
his personality. For example soothing particular of him is that he tends to walk very quickly, this
may be the reason about why he is that thin, he walks a lot everywhere, and I frequently believe
that he does not walk, he jogs! Taking about the way he eats, he has a particular way to twist his
tortilla and to make some kind of cone, then he chews it without noise, he loves to eat and every
time that I eat with him, I wish I could enjoy my food as he does. When he eats, he tends not to
speak; however, when he speaks is another story. When he speaks, it is easy to notice his
expressions, because he always frowns; when he has doubts, he always smiles when he is
happy, and he is always serious when he is worried. His expressions are something that makes
even more interesting to listen to him.
He is the kind of person that is interesting to listen. I could say that when I listen to him I can
learn something. Every time that I want to have an honest opinion, I always go with my father,
because he gives me his opinion from the bottom of his heart. On the other hand when he
needs to tell me something, he waits for the perfect time to tell me, somewhere where it is calm
and relaxed. And if it is something bad; he always tries to give me his advice, when he gives me
some advice, it is important for me because I can feel the support that everyone needs, when
my father gives me his support, I can feel confident and safe.
My father is the kind of person that does not show his feelings a lot. But I could say that he can
be though; however, when he is with me it is not like that at all, he might not kiss and jug me
every single day, but when he does, it is what I consider the most sincere actions that someone
can ask for. When he hugs me, I feel warm and loved, his hard skin becomes a soft thing. To
conclude, some people may think that this essay is a little bit too cheesy, and maybe it is, but I
do not care because there was not someone else that I wanted to describe like this. I have the
wonderful opportunity to have this awesome father.