In Progress
Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress




Intellectual abilities: ability

  • Intelligent: having intelligence and mental capacity.
  • Bright: intelligent.
  • Clever: having the capacity to learn and understand things quickly.
  • Sharp: a person who notices things quickly.
  • Shrewd: being able to understand a situation and gain advantage from it.
  • Able: good at what you do.
  • Gifted: to have a special ability in something.
  • Talented: to have an ability or skill.
  • Brainy (colloquial): clever and smart.

Intellectual abilities: lacking ability

  • Stupid: silly or showing little intelligence.
  • Foolish: being stupid and unwise.
  • Half-witted: unintelligent.
  • Simple: common and ordinary.
  • Silly: lacking thought and showing poor judgement.
  • Brainless (colloquial): stupid; lacking intelligence.
  • Daft (colloquial): silly; stupid.
  • Dumb (colloquial): stupid, lacking good judgment.
  • Dim (colloquial): being slow in understanding something.

Clever in a negative way, using brains to trick or deceive

  • Cunning: being so clever that you can get what you want even by tricking people.
  • Crafty: clever in a dishonest way.
  • Sly: a person who is sneaky and deceives people.

Attitudes towards life

  • Optimistic: looking at the bright side of things and expecting a favourable outcome.
  • Pessimistic: always considering the glass half-empty.
  • Extroverted: friendly and outgoing.
  • Introverted: a person who is shy and focused on his/her own thoughts and feelings.
  • Tense: feeling stressed out or wound up for example after a busy day at work (I feel very tense / wound up / stressed out after a very busy day at work).
  • Wound-up: very worried and nervous.
  • Relaxed: not worried; without any kind of stress.
  • Sensible: having good judgement; practical.
  • Down-to-earth: practical and realistic.
  • Sensitive: easily affected by things, situations, other factors or having emotional sensibility and taking care of the feelings of others.
  • Worked-up: very upset.
  • Sociable / Gregarious (more common in written English): enjoying others’ company.
  • Quarrelsome / Argumentative: disagreeing with others.
  • Cruel / Sadistic: taking pleasure in others’ pain.
  • Easy-going / Even-tempered / Laid-back (more common in spoken English): relaxed in attitude to self and others.
  • Impolite / Rude / Ill-mannered / Discourteous: (more common in written English: not polite to others.
  • Honest / Trustworthy / Reliable / Sincere: telling the truth to others.
  • Jealous / Envious: unhappy if others have what one does not have oneself.

 Positive and negative words

Positive associations

  • Determined: obstinate in a positive way.
  • Thrifty: frugal, careful with money.
  • Economical: using the minimum required.
  • Self-assured: to be sure of oneself.
  • Confident: believing in oneself.
  • Unconventional: not ordinary in a positive way.
  • Original: not common. A person who thinks and behaves in an original way.
  • Frank: direct.
  • Open: honest and frank.
  • Direct: saying things directly in a honest way.
  • Broad-minded: open, tolerant and respecting other people’s views and opinions.
  • Enquiring (more common in written English): questioning to seek information.
  • Generous: kind, willing to share with people what one’s have and help people.
  • Innocent: pure.
  • Ambitious: eagerly willing to reach specific goals, achieve success, power.
  • Assertive: determined and confident.

Negative associations

  • Obstinate: unreasonably determined.
  • Stubborn: not willing to change one’s opinion and behaviour; determined in what a person is doing refusing to change.
  • Pig-headed: stupidly stubborn.
  • Stingy: a person who does not want to spend money.
  • Mean: a person who is not willing to share things and money.
  • Tight-fisted: ungenerous with money.
  • Miserly (more common in written English): typical of a miser; not generous with money.
  • Self-important: a person with a high opinion of himself.
  • Arrogant: being too much proud of himself.
  • Full of oneself (more common in spoken English): self-assured in a negative way.
  • Eccentric: unusual person.
  • Odd: strange, different from what is expected.
  • Peculiar: unusual and distinct from others.
  • Weird (more common in spoken English): strange, different from usual.
  • Blunt: direct but being impolite and not considering other people’s feelings.
  • Abrupt: brusque in manner.
  • Curt: very quick in manner and speech.
  • Brusque: quick in manner resulting in being rude.
  • Unprincipled: without moral principles.
  • Permissive: allowing behaviours which are generally disapproved.
  • Inquisitive: enquiring in a way you can annoy people.
  • Noisy (more common in spoken English): annoyingly curious about other people’s facts.
  • Extravagant: exaggerated.
  • Naïve: innocent.
  • Pushy (more common in spoken English): insistent in asking in trying to get something.
  • Aggressive: being angry and violent with people.
  • Bossy (more common in spoken English): a person who always tells people what to do.

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