PERSONALITY TRAITS

ANSWERING COMPREHENSIONS

What kind of person is the writer/narrator/character? What impression do you form of…

Describe the character of……. What do we learn about the personality of……..

The list of words below are intended as a way to prompt ideas. However, you must remember that simply figuring out the ‘right’ answer (if there even is such a thing in English!) isn’t enough – it’s not just what you say, but also how you say it that matters. Your answer needs to flow from one idea to the next and to show depth and insight.

Compare these two snippets:

Kate seems like a kind person. We see this when she puts her arm around Aisling’s shoulders and says “hush now, don’t cry, we’ll figure something out“.

OR

Kate is the kind of person who helps old ladies across the road and rescues kittens from trees. Kate has never met Aisling before and yet she interrupts a very busy schedule to calm and comfort her. Kate’s determination to find a solution “we’ll figure something out” reveals a ‘never say die’ attitude that I really admire“.

Both of these answers identify kindness as one of Kate’s personality traits (for the record these are only partial answers – you’d need to identity four or five aspects of her personality when writing a full answer) but the first one might scrape you a D in an honours English paper while the second would get you an A. So remember – it’s not just WHAT you say that counts – HOW you say it is supremely important if you want to get a good grade.

One thing you need to consider is whether or not your response has sufficient depth. It’s never enough to simply (1) find and regurgitate the information that’s in the passage. You must (2) interpret the text. Ask yourself what is being implied and suggested even if it’s not explicitly stated. Finally you need to reflect on how this links to your prior knowledge and (3) evaluate what is being said. I have interpreted the text when I comment on Kate’s busy schedule and praise her willingness to help a stranger. I have also linked to my own knowledge and experience of human nature when I mention a ‘never say die attitude’. Finally I evaluate her personality by saying that I admire her.

A

Affectionate, caring, considerate, kind, thoughtful, generous, selfless,unselfish

Ambitious, driven, determined, focused, hard-working, interested, motivated, assertive, pro-active

Analytical

Anxious, uptight

Arrogant, conceited, vain, condescending, obnoxious

C

Cautious

Cheerful, optimistic, positive, happy-go-lucky

Childish, immature

Complex

Confident, self-confident

Co-operative, helpful, good-natured

Courageous, brave, decisive

Cowardly

Curious, inquisitive

Cynical

D

Dishonest

Devoted, loyal, friendly

Distant, aloof, secretive, cold, callous, cruel, uncaring

E

Eager, enthusiastic

F

Facetious

Forgiving

G

Genuine, sincere, serious

Grumpy, pessimist(ic), gloomy, sour

H

Honest

Humble, modest

Hostile

I

Inconsiderate, inflexible, thoughtless, uncooperative, impolite, irresponsible

Impatient

Indecisive

Intelligent, clever, knowledgeable

Interfering, meddlesome

J

Judgemental, condescending, critical, intolerant, prejudiced

Jealous, envious

L

Lazy, scattered, unfocused, apathetic, unmotivated, indifferent

M

Miserly, stingy, frugal, thrifty

Malicious, evil

Mature

Melodramatic, moody, temperamental

N

Naive, innocent

O

Observant

Open-minded, tolerant

Opinionated

P

Pedantic

Perfectionist

Polite, mannerly, refined

Practical, punctual

Pretentious, fake

R

Realist, realistic

Rude

Rebellious

Reliable, responsible

S

Sarcastic, witty

Self-centered, selfish, self-involved

Self-conscious, insecure, paranoid, neurotic,

Sensitive, shy, reserved

Stubborn, persistent

T

Tactful

Trusting

Thoughtful, pensive, philosophical

U

Unusual

Uneducated, ignorant

W

Wealthy

 

If asked to describe someone’s lifestyle, obviously full sentences will reveal more than individual words but here are some suggestions:

He / she lives a very __________ lifestyle.

  • frugal
  • opulent
  • decadent
  • carefree / relaxed
  • eccentric
  • rewarding
  • demanding
  • pressurised
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6 Responses to Describe a personality / lifestyle

  1. Pearl says:

    You guys are awesome could you please give us more samples of the answers like the one above about Kate?

  2. Study! says:

    This site is really good :) and if at all possible could you put up a sample answer as I am finding it difficult preparing answers!

  3. Right then, sample answers in demand. Will see what I can do at some stage this week!

  4. Aislinn says:

    Absolutely love this website, its very helpful (: *****

  5. Temmy says:

    This site is aboslutely wonderful can you please upload some sample answers thanks

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