quinta-feira, 29 de agosto de 2013

Going Further: Describing Stuff in English

Sometimes you may be asked to describe something, what it looks like, and it’s function or purpose or what it isneeded for. For example, you may to talking to a person not up on the latest technological devises or telling someone about the newest time saving kitchen gadget.

When you are describing objects you use adjectives, (words that describe nouns) such as the size, color, shape, material made from, thickness, texture, etc. Look at the expressions below that can be used when asking for descriptions of things.

English Expressions Used to Describe Things

Expression: What does it look like?
Response: It’s big, with eight hairy arms.
Expression: How big is it?
Response: It’s 3 feet, by 4 feet, by 5 feet.
Expression: How much does it weigh?
Response: It weighs 75 pounds.
Expression: What color is it?
Response: It’s bright yellow, brighter than a banana.
Expression: What’s it made out of?
Response: It’s made of plastic and aluminum.
Expression: What is it?
Response: It’s a garlic press.
Expression: What does it do?
Response: It puts a sharp point on wooden pencils.
Expression: What the purpose of a refrigerator?
Response: The purpose of a refrigerator is to keep food cold so it does not spoil.
Expression: What do you use a (… cheese grater) for?
Response: A cheese grater is used to make small strips of cheese from a larger block.
Expression: How does a (… water heater) work?
Response: Water is collected in a large tank and heated by either gas or electricity.

Dialogue about Describing Things

Randall: Do you know what a grandfather clock is?
Horace: Yes, of course.
Randall: I assume it is a kind of clock, but what does it look like?
Horace: Well, they’re usually big, about an average person’s height, and maybe 20 to 24 inches wide.
Randall: And.
Horace: The clock face is at the top, usually a round face, and many have Roman Numerals.
Randall: Go on.
Horace: Below the face is a pendulum which hangs from a chain, or something similar, which swings back
and forth as the clock ticks.
Randall: I’m sorry, what’s a pendulum?
Horace: A weight hanging from a chain, cable, or string.
Randall: I see.
Horace: In all the grandfather clocks I have ever seen, the cabinets were made out of wood, usually stained
Randall: Why are they called grandfather clocks?
Horace: I don’t know. Maybe because they are an old style of clock that was common in our grandfathers’
Randall: The clock in your father’s office is a grandfather clock, isn’t it?
Horace: Yes, but he calls it his grandmother’s clock.
Randall: Why?
Horace: Because his grandmother gave it to him.

Source: http://yadayadaenglish.com/

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