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Learning English - The Flatmates
The Flatmates
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Archive Language Point 152

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Describing people

Tim talking on the phone outside his cafe

Positive characteristics

able to cope with difficult situations, able to do things very well or skilfully
She's a very capable pilot. You always feel safe when she's in charge.

willing to help or do what people ask, ready to work together with someone (rather than against them)
This project will only be successful if everyone is cooperative. We need team-players not people who are only interested in getting ahead by themselves.

able to keep people safe from injury, damage or loss
She's a very protective mother. She won't let anyone hurt her children.

thinking carefully and quietly
After the judge spoke, the criminal sat in a quiet, reflective silence.

reacting or behaving without having to think or learn about it
He's got instinctive reactions on the football pitch. He doesn't even seem to see the ball, yet he connects with it every time.

behaving like an adult, in a way that shows you are well developed emotionally
I know you didn't win. But you need to take it like a grown-up. Crying isn't very mature, is it?

having hopeful, happy feelings
Despite the bad economic news, the prime minister remained upbeat about the new policies.

able to use words in a clever and funny way
She's very witty. She always makes us laugh with her funny comments.

Negative characteristics

determined to do what you want to do, even if other people advise you not to
Jack is head-strong. Even though he knows it makes Tim angry if he's late, he still shows up late for work.

having a strong tendency to control other people without considering their feelings
He's so domineering. He always has to get his own way no matter what the rest of us want to do.

ready to believe anything that people tell you, even if it seems obvious to other people that it's not true
She's so gullible. Even though it seemed obvious it was just a spam email, she actually believed they were going to send her a million dollars!

not easily upset or concerned by negative things people say about you
I tried to give them the hint that it was time to leave. But they were so thick-skinned about it. They were the last ones to leave at two in the morning!


difficult to deal with


the catering trade
a business which provides food (a restaurant or cafe, for example)

your very own establishment
(formal) your business

I'm between a rock and a hard place
(idiom) I'm in a very tricky situation and have to make a difficult decision


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