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You may have heard a number of different words used to express " fat" or "thin "when describing people.

Here are some examples : 
                      chubby          plump           overweight

all mean "fat" in some way , while

                      slim             skinny           frail

are some ways of saying "thin"
vocabulary : People
The reasons of the variety of expressions is that each word contains more in its meaning than just "fat " or " thin" . We use chubby or plump in an affectionate way, often to describe children. It can also be applied to other people and it's more polite than the word "fat" . Overweight is also more polite expression than the word "fat" and it's sometimes used in a clinical way, by doctors and officials. 
Slim is a complimentary word for thinness, while skinny is slightly derogatory and suggests too thin.
Frail is
used most often for old people and denotes weakness as well as thinness.


1- Complete these sentences with the correct word

slim - thin  - overweight  - plump - chubby - frail 

1 What do you say to someone when you don't want to hurt their feelings but you are concerned that they are putting on a lot of weight? Aren't you a little    ?

2 What might you say to a child who is gaining weight? You' re getting quite     , aren't you?
3 What could you say about a fashion model's enviable figure? She's very     with long legs.
4 She's eighty-two years old, small and very    
5 You should eat more; you' re getting very    
6 He's a sweet baby, with     pink cheeks.

2- Can you pick out the suspects from the line-up below? [see pictures]

Police report file number :            253
At approximately 22:20 hours on the night of 22nd September, two people were seen getting out of an X-registered Ford Escort in Brixton High Street. They then forced entry to Jones' Jeweler's shop, and made off with valuables worth over £250,000. The alarm was raised by a passer-by, who told the police that the thieves were dressed all in black: one was a woman aged 30-35, with short, spiky hair, thick lips and dangly earrings. The other was described as male, 35-40 years of age, bald, with thick eyebrows

Vocabulary : People

3- Match the opposites in the following list of character traits

miserable   tactless   unreliable    graceful  unsympathetic    insensitive  disloyal  untrustworthy  intolerant 


Vocabulary : People
1 sensitive         

2 clumsy             

3 cheerful         

4 loyal                 

5 reliable           

6 trustworthy 

7 tolerant         

8 sympathetic 

9 tactful             

4- Select the correct word to fill the gaps in the sentences below

a- I have just heard from a _______ source that this isn't the first time
such an accident has occurred. 

b- I have complete faith in her; she has always been
a very _________ employee.

c- You should be more _______ towards people who have
different opinions from yours. 

d- He's a very _______ child; he gets upset easily if the others tease him. 

e- She's so _______ when she's not wearing her glasses;  she trips over everything. 

5- Decide which of the three words given is the correct one

a- Someone who is happy one day and miserable the next is_________. 

b- If you've just passed an exam, you feel very ________ with yourself. 

c- If you don't say 'please' and 'thank you' , then you' re not being very __________ . 

d- Once you decide something, nothing will change your mind; you' re very _________ . 

e- If you accept other people's points of view, you are  ___________ . 

f- You don't think before you speak; the moment you open your mouth, you say something_________.

g- If you' re always tripping over or breaking things, you are ____________ . 

h- If you always arrive at meetings at the correct time, you are __________ .

6- Divide the following characteristics into 'positive' or desirable characteristics and 'negative' ones

  • POSITIVE


vocabulary : People

  • NEGATIVE 


Vocabulary : People

7- Writing

Now write some sentences about yourself, including your positive and negative characteristics. Use some of the words above, as in the example:
e.g. I'm a loyal friend. I don't say things behind my friends' backs.

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