LET’S GET STARTED!
Picture description is an important to tool for practicing your English vocabulary and other skills besides
speaking, such as listening or writing, and also speaking or conversing.
Photo description give us many possibilities to practice vocabulary in all kind of areas and it can also
bring about all sorts of conversations and discussions and a great variety of lessons depending on the
point you want to focus on.
It is also very useful for the teachers to test many different topics in exams and English tests.
In this presentation you will find some guidelines and basic tips to describe a photo properly in English.
Take a look at them carefully and also take every point in consideration to structure your picture
And remember that PRACTICE makes PERFECT. At the beginning you might find it difficult but little by
little, practice by practice you will get used to describe pictures in English, just be confident, do not get
stuck on words and keep talking not losing eye contact with the examiner. Smile and be friendly too.
SAY IN OTHER WORDS…
• If you don’t know the precise word, you can use other words or
• It´s used to close… / It´s used for closing… / You use it to
• It´s what you do when you..(if you don´t know the verb)
• I don´t know what you call it, but…(describe or define it)
• I don´t know what it is called /the word for it, but…
• It´s a kind / sort of… It´s like a….. It´s stuff /a thing for…
‘CAUSE TIME MATTERS…
Time is an important factor, if you want time to play in your favor, you can use hesitation words such as:
Well,… Er..., Let me see…, Mmm…, Then..., I mean…,You know (what I mean)
Don´t be afraid to interrupt and ask if you don´t understand what you are being told. It´s important to get used to the
right phrases to ask for clarification or repetition and be able to go on :
• Shall I start? What do you mean? I don´t (really) understand…
• Do you think you could say/explain that again? Would you mind repeating it, please?
• May/can I ask you a question? I´m not (quite) sure what I have to do…
Can I interrupt or say something?
• Asking the examiner to repeat can actually be the perfect opportunity to show off some complex language - e.g.:
• 'I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch the last part…‘ 'I didn´t quite get what you said…'
• 'If I can just check what you are saying, you'd like me to…'
• And, be confident to correct yourself if necessary!
• What I mean… What I´m trying to say…
• I don´t think I explained that very well…
WHAT’S SHE/HE LIKE?
TO BE/ HAVE GOT
SHE’S NOT VERY TALL, SHE’S
AVERAGE. SHE HAS GOT BIG
BROWN EYES. SHE’S GOT SHORT
STRAIGHT BLACK HAIR. SHE’S A
LITTLE OVERWEIGHT AND
CURVY. SHE’S GOT A NICE
HE’S GOT WHITE SKIN.
HE’S TALL AND SLIM, OR EVEN
SKINNY. HE’S GOT LONG CURLY
DARK HAIR. HIS EYES ARE BLACK
HE’S GOT A VERY SMALL NOSE AND
HE’S AROUND 30 YEARS OLD IN THE
KEEP IN MIND: ORDER OF THE ADJECTIVE
LONG CURLY FAIR HAIR
PLEASE MAKE A GUESS!
• I'd say ...
• It might…/ it may…
• He could…
• It looks like…
• It seems…
• It's difficult to say, but I can guess…
• I'm not quite sure, but I think…
• Describe the actions using the PRESENT CONTINUOUS/PROGRESSIVE.
The coach is talking to the football players.
The football players are sitting on a bench
listening to the coach.
Some football players are thinking about the
One football player is holding a ball for
A football player is covering his face with his
A football player is saying a pray.
The goalkeeper is just sleeping.
BE GOING TO/WILL
• I think he’s going to…(there’s a given evidence)
• In my opinion, it’s going to
• It might not…
• He’ll probably …
• It definitely won’t…
• I believe, it’s like to…
• I’m almost certain, it’s going to…
• I think it will …(not a given evidence)
EXPRESSING YOUR OPINION
• In my opinion…
• As far as I´m concerned…
• As I see it…
• I would say that…
• If you ask me…
• I suppose/believe/think/guess…
• From my point of view…
1.Look very carefully to the picture.
2. Use present continuous to tell what’s happening
3. Use alternative words or paraphrase if you don’t know the exact words.
4. Do not use general terms to describe people or items. You need to use the vocabulary
according to your level.
5. Give full answers, avoid to use one single word or lists.
6. If there’s a person/ people you must describe their appearance.
7. Keep talking ( do not get stuck on words), make guesses, ask questions, paraphrase and
give evidence of your skills.
8. Try to direct the conversation towards something you can easily talk about.
9. Keep eye contact with your examiner/partner and be animated! Show a positive attitude
and don’t be too shy.
IN THE TOP
AT THE TOP IN THE TOP
ON THE LEFT
IN THE BOTTOM
IN THE BOTTOM
EXAMPLE: In the picture I can see a beautiful landscape of the
city of London.
In the background I can see The Houses of
Parliament and Big Ben and there are also some
black taxis. There are some people walking down the
road. I guess it is a touristic place, so they ‘re doing
In the foreground there are two police officers riding
a horse. One of them is riding a lovely white horse
and the other is on a brown one. The one on the
white looks older and shorter than that one on the
brown horse. Both are wearing a uniform and
helmets and they are also wearing coats since the
weather is not so pleasant, even tough the sky
seems clear and bright.
I would say that this is a busy area of London and
these officers are just protecting the visitors’
security, that’s why I would love to become a police
WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE?
WHAT ARE THEY DOING?
HOW OLD DO YOU THINK THEY ARE?
WHAT ARE THEY WEARING?
HOW ARE THEY FEELING?
WHAT CAN YOU SEE IN THE BACKGROUND?
WOULD YOU ENJOY DOING SOMETHING LIKE THIS?
Here are some ideas to be developed in the classroom related to picture
1. In pairs, one student draws a picture while the other describes it.
2. In pairs, “guess where I have been to” , one student describes a place
she/ he has been to.
3. Describe a comic strip. Teacher shows it to all the class and each
student says a sentence. After that, they can write, discuss or make up
4. They can describe their village, house or bedroom to the whole class
and the best description is placed on the wall.
Obviously there are more ideas, and teachers, we are imaginative and can
carry out any of these. Good luck!
Thanks for watching
The images attached to this presentation have been taken from Google
Images if you think I should remove any of them, please let me know.
Send an e-mail to mayteled@Gmail.com. Remember these are only for
ENJOY LEARNING ENGLISH
THE MORE YOU PRACTICE, THE MORE YOU LEARN