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How to Describe People in German: Physical Descriptions and Personality

Conversations, no matter the language, are often peppered with descriptions of people we see and know. Whether it’s about physical traits that can be easily seen or the deeper aspects of a person’s character and personality, descriptions are an important part of conversations.

So here in this article, let’s learn how to describe people’s looks and personalities in German!

I. German Words to Describe Personality

A person could be smart, organized, and helpful. He could also be aggressive, angry, and lazy. How do you say these in German? Here are some words that would help!

abenteuerlustigadventurous
abergläubischsuperstitious
aggressivaggressive
treuloyal
angeberischshow-off
hartnäckigpersistent
arrogantarrogant
aufgeschlossenapproachable
aufrichtigsincere
begabttalented
hilfreichhelpful
bescheuert, verrücktcrazy, nuts
bescheidenmodest
blöd, dumm, doofstupid, dumb
deprimiertdepressed
egoistischegotistical
ehrgeizigambitious
eifersüchtigjealous
einzigartigunique
eingebildetconceited
einsamlonely
eitelvain
energischenergetic
erstaunlichamazing
extrovertiertextroverted
exzentrischeccentric
faullazy
fleißighardworking
freundlichfriendly
glücklichhappy
geduldigpatient
gemeinmean
wohlerzogenwell-mannered, well-behaved
gesprächigtalkative
gieriggreedy
großzügiggenerous
introvertiertintroverted
klugsmart
kreativcreative
künstlerischartistic
liebevollcaring
organisiertorganized
realistischrealistic
rücksichtsvollconsiderate
ruhigquiet, calm
sauerangry
schüchternshy
selbständigindependent
selbstbewusstconfident
selbstsicherself-assured / self-confident
spontanspontaneous
sportlichathletic
unfreundlichunfriendly
verlockendalluring
witzigwitty, funny
zuverlässigdependable; trustworthy

Let’s try some examples using very simple sentence constructions.

Er ist sportlich.

He is athletic.

Sie ist freundlich.

She is friendly.

Er scheint freundlich zu sein.

He seems to be friendly.

Sie scheint introvertiert zu sein.

She seems to be introverted.

Pop Quiz 1: German Personality Words

Let’s try a few exercises to cement your knowledge of the words you just learned!

1. Spontan means _____.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

2. Someone who is ehrgeizig is _____.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

3. Extroverted and introverted in German are:

Click to reveal the correct answer:

4. Er ist fleißig means:

Click to reveal the correct answer:

Thanks for taking the short quiz! Now let’s proceed to describing physical traits.

II. German Words for Physical Appearance

Looks matter a lot! Your appearance is a reflection of the impression you want to make to the world. If you wish to describe a person’s looks in German, the following words will come in handy.

gut aussehendhandsome, good-looking
hübschpretty
schönpretty, beautiful
hässlichugly
süß, niedlichcute
jungyoung
schlankskinny, slim
dünnthin
hagergaunt
großbig
riesiggigantic, huge
kleinsmall, short
dickfat
starkstrong
schwachweak
brauntanned
grüne Augengreen eyes
blaue Augenblue eyes
braune Augenbrown eyes
graue Augengray eyes
lange Haarelong hair
kurze Haareshort hair
lockige Haarecurly hair
glatte Haarestraight hair
blonde Haareblond hair
rote Haarered hair
braune Haarebrown hair
schwarze Haareblack hair
braunhaarigbrown-haired
dunkelhaarigdark-haired
rothaarigred-haired
schwarzhaarigblack-haired

Now let’s take some simple sentence constructions as example.

Er/Sie ist…

(He/ she is...)

… groß

(...tall)

… schwarzhaarig

(...black-haired)

dünn

(...thin)

Er/Sie sieht …. aus

(He/She looks …)

Er/Sie sieht wunderschön aus

(He/She looks beautiful)

Er/Sie sieht schlecht aus

(He/She looks bad)

Want more examples? Let’s take a look at longer ones that describe physical appearances.

Example #1:

Der Mann ist groß und hat kurze, blonde Haare. Er hat eine runde Brille. Der Mann trägt einen blauen Anzug mit weißem Hemd und roter Krawatte. Dazu trägt er braune Schuhe. In seiner rechten Hand hält er einen alten Aktenkoffer. Er sieht jung aus.

The man is tall and has short, blond hair. He is wearing round glasses. He wears a blue suit with a white shirt and a red tie. With that he is wearing brown shoes. He looks young.

Example #2:

Das Mädchen hat lange, dunkle Haare, welche zu einem Zopf geflochten sind. Sie hat kleine, runde Ohrringe. Ihre Augen sind blau. Sie trägt ein blau-grün gestreiften Pullover und einen weißen Rock. Dieser geht bis zu den Knien. Sie trägt keine Schuhe, sie ist barfuß.

The girl has long, dark hair which is braided. She has small, round earrings. Her eyes are blue. She is wearing a blue and green striped sweater and a white skirt. This goes down to the knees. She doesn’t wear shoes, she is barefoot.

Example #3:

Der Mann sieht sehr alt aus. In einer Hand hält er einen Gehstock. Er hat nur noch wenige, graue Haare. Trotz seiner vielen Falten sieht er sehr sympatisch aus. Er trägt ein kariertes Hemd mit rotem Muster und dazu eine braune Hose.

The man looks very old. In one hand he is holding a cane. He only has a few, grey hairs left. Despite his many wrinkles he looks pleasant. He wears a checkered shirt with a red pattern and brown trousers.

Pop Quiz #2!

Try your hand at this second short quiz about physical appearance!

1. Lockige Haare means:

Click to reveal the correct answer:

2. When a person has braune Haare, he or she is ____.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

3. Er ist dünn means:

Click to reveal the correct answer:

4. When a lady is described as schön, it means she is ____.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

Conclusion

We hope you learned something from this simple article on how to describe a person’s personality and looks. How about you? How would you describe yourself using the vocabulary shared above? Do share it with us in the comments!

To learn more German words through context, get your copy of German Short Stories for Beginners. It comes with a built-in dictionary for a hassle-free learning! You can listen to the stories, too, with the free audio. Check it out below!

A  FUN AND EFFECTIVE WAY TO LEARN GERMAN

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