External View: Describing People in Spanish
Now that you know all the Spanish words for colors and parts of the face, it’s time to practice describing people! The skill will be a great communication asset, as well as a helpful tool for situation where you have to meet a person you have never seen.
So, what can a person look like?
The most obvious characteristics that immediately pop to my mind are hair length and color, eye color, skin color, and, for more precision, one’s build.
Let’s study the words and practice them in short texts describing people who look not in the least alike.
Please note: I am matching adjectives to the nouns they are attached to (the Spanish for hair, skin, etc.) If you decide to toss the noun and say that someone is a redhead (not has red hair), please make sure you match the gender of the adjective to the gender of the person you are describing.
HAIR – EL PELO
Judging by the length, hair can be
- Short – corto (KOHRR-toh)
- Long – largo (LARR-goh)
- Meduim-length - medio largo (MEH-dee-oh LARR-goh)
By type, hair can be:
- Straight - liso/lacio (LEE-soh/LAH-cee-oh)
- Wavy - ondulado (ohn-doo-LAH-doh)
- Curly - rizado (ree-THAH-doh)
Now the words for different hair colors:
- Red – pelirrojo (peh-lee-RROH-Hoh)
- Brown – castaño (kahss-TAH-nyo)
- Dark – oscuro (ohs-KOO-roh)
- Blond – rubio (ROO-bee-oh)
Finally, if a person has no hair at all, they would be described as
- Bald – calvo (KAHL-boh)
SKIN – LA PIEL
Forget about political correctness for a moment, it’s time to learn the words for skin colors:
- Dark – morena (moh-REH-nah)
- Fair – blanca (BLAHN-kah)
- Pale – pálida (PAH-lee-dah)
EYE COLOR - EL COLOR DE LOS OJOS
Eyes can be of different shades, mine are more purple than blue, so make sure you revise the article about the Spanish words for colors to give an accurate description of a person.
BUILD – LA CONSTITUCIóN DEL CUERPO
- Short – bajo/a (BAH-hoh/BAH-hah)
- Tall – alto/a (AHL-toh/AHL-tah)
- Thin – delgado/a (dehl-GAH-thoh/dehl-GAH-thah)
- Fat – gordo/a (GORR-thoh/GORR-thah)
And now, let’s practice!
Tengo pelo largo, liso y pelirrojo. Tengo ojos morados. Soy delgada.
I have long, straight, red hair. I have purple eyes. I am thin.
Harrison tiene pelo corto, liso y castaño. Tiene ojos marrones. Tiene piel blanca. Es alto.
Harrison has short straight brown hair. He has brown eyes. He is fair-skinned and tall.
Blondy tiene pelo medio largo, rizado y rubio. Tiene ojos azules y piel pálida. Es baja.
Blondy has medium-length curly blond hair. She has blue eyes and pale skin. She is short.
Don Pedro es calvo. Tiene ojos verdes y piel blanca. Es gordo.
Don Pedro is bald. He has Green eyes and fair skin. He is fat.
Enrique tiene pelo corto, ondulado y oscuro. Tiene ojos marrones. Él tiene piel morena. Es alto y delgado.
Enrique has short wavy black hair. He has brown eyes. He is dark-skinned. He is tall and thin.
Well, that’s it for now. If you want to a more advanced practice idea, try to describe what the people in the pictures are wearing. And if you don’t, pass on straight to the short quiz and check your knowledge!