Friday, 11 November 2011

What Are You Like?

SCENARIO

Imagine either of the following situations:
  1. You are on the phone to a stranger. You are making arrangements to meet. Neither one of you knows what the other looks like. The other person wants to ask you to describe yourself.
  2. You are in a classroom scenario and the teacher wants to ask you to describe yourself.
In either case, the other person decides to ask: "how would you describe yourself?"/ "what are you like?".

He/ she could choose to be a bit less formal and say:
¿Cómo eres?

Alternatively, he/ she could choose to be a little bit more formal and say:
¿Cómo es usted?



OUR TIP

You DO NOT need be concerned about the degree of formality in the question you are asked. Whether the other person uses the more/ less formal question is irrelevant to your choice of answer. Your answer depends only on what you want to say. There are many different ways in which you could describe yourself. However, you need to remember that in some cases your answer will depend on whether you are MALE or FEMALE. It may help you to think about the two situations considered, thus:
  • If you are describing yourself to a stranger who cannot see you, and wants to know about your physical appearance, perhaps you want to tell him/ her about: 
    • Your age
    • Your height 
    • Whether you are thin/ fat
    • Colour of your eyes and whether or not you wear glasses 
    • Colour of your hair 
    • Any other features

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Tengo 30 años (I am 30 years old)
  • Soy alto, mido un metro noventa y dos (I am tall, I am 1.92 metres tall)-Male.
  • Soy alta, mido un metro noventa y dos (I am tall, I am 1.92 metres tall)-Female
  • Soy delgado, peso sesenta y cinco kilos (I am thin, I weigh 65 kilos)-Male
  • Soy delgada, peso sesenta y cinco kilos (I am thin, I weigh 65 kilos)-Female
  • Tengo los ojos azules y llevo gafas (I have blue eyes and wear glasses)
  • Tengo el pelo rubio (I have blond hair)
  • Tengo un lunar en la cara (I have a birthmark on my face)
  • Llevo un clavel en la solapa (I am wearing a carnation on my lapel)
  • If on the other hand you are describing yourself in a classroom scenario, then a fuller description of yourself may be in order. In that case, in addition to the above physical appearance, you may want to give some character traits, such as:
    • Optimistic/ Pessimistic
    • Cheerful/Not cheerful
    • Hardworking/ Lazy
    • Intelligent/ Unintelligent
    • Honest/ Dishonest

Here are some examples which deal with those basic possibilities:
  • Soy optimista/ pesimista (I am an optimist/ pessimist)
  • Soy alegre/ no soy alegre (I am cheerful/ not cheerful)
  • Soy trabajador/ perezoso (I am hardworking/ lazy)-Male
  • Soy trabajadora/ perezosa (I am hardworking/ lazy)-Female
  • Soy inteligente/ no soy inteligente (I am intelligent/ not intelligent)
  • Soy honesto/ deshonesto (I am honest/ dishonest)-Male
  • Soy honesta/ deshonesta (I am honest/ dishonest)-Female

Now you should practice answering the question:
¿Cómo eres?

This is another Free online Spanish lesson from Love-Spanish.com. We conduct lessons online on this and many other topics using the latest video conferencing facilities. Online lessons are the ideal way to improve listening and speaking skills. For more details on our lessons online and how to book them, please visit:

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