11. Physical Appearance

Physical Appearance

Part 1-style questions

Examiner: Do you look like any other people in your family?
Carlo: No … not at all … take my brother for example … he has short cropped hair and has quite a pointed face … he’s also quite fair-skinned compared to me …

  • cropped hair: very short hair
  • to be fair-skinned: light skinned
  • pointed face: the opposite of a round face

Examiner: Tell me about your family.
Andrea: My father’s getting on a bit … he’s in his 60s … but he looks very young for his age … he still does lots of exercise and is quite well-built …

  • to be getting on a bit: to be getting old
  • in his/her 30s/40s: to be 20/30 something
  • to be well-built: to be muscular
  • to look young for your age: to look younger than you are

Examiner: What does your best friend look like?
Mandy: She’s the same age as me … she has shoulder-length hair … fair hair … she has a slim figure and is medium height …

  • fair hair: light-coloured hair
  • medium height: average height
  • slim figure: attractively thin
  • shoulder-length hair: hair that comes down to the shoulders and no further


Part 2-style task

Describe a person whose appearance you like. You should say

  • who this person is
  • what their relationship is to you
  • what they look like

and say what it is about their appearance you like.

Monique:  OK … I’d like to talk about my aunt … her name’s Marta and she’s quite a character … she’s middle-aged but has a very youthful appearance … she’s a little overweight I suppose but not too much … she has a friendly round face framed by thick blonde hair … she has a lovely complexion and she’s always well-turned out … she actually always looks like she’s going out for the evening to somewhere special … there’s never a hair out of place … I’ve always thought she bears a striking resemblance to someone on TV … I can’t remember the name now … she wears glasses and always seems to have a different pair on every time I see her … I like the way she looks because she wears clothes that are right for her age and manages to look glamorous without it looking like she’s too done up … yes … I’ll be happy if I look like her when I’m her age …

  • youthful appearance: to look young
  • middle-aged: approximately between 45-65
  • thick hair: a lot of hair
  • to be overweight: to weigh more than is regarded as healthy
  • to be well-turned out: to look smart
  • complexion: natural skin colour and texture
  • to bear a striking resemblance: to look very similar to
  • to wear glasses: to use spectacles
  • to never have a hair out of place: perfectly styled hair

Part 3-style questions

Examiner:  Is it important to dress well whenever we go out?
Mark: It depends where you’re going … I know some people get done up just to go to the shops … but I don’t see the point … you shouldn’t go out looking scruffy with disheveled hair but I really don’t see the point in getting dressed up to the nines unless you’re going somewhere special …

  • disheveled hair: untidy hair
  • to dress up to the nines: to dress very smartly or glamorously
  • scruffy: dressed untidily
  • to get done up: to dress smartly

Examiner: Do people worry too much about their appearance as they get older?
Mira: I’m sure they do … yes … but it happens to all of us doesn’t it … we all go grey eventually and get hard of hearing … we start to lose our figure … that’s why plastic surgery is so popular … personally I think we just need to grow old gracefully and not worry too much about how we look …

  • to go grey: to have hair that is turning grey
  • to grow old gracefully: to act in a way that embraces the fact you are getting older
  • to be hard of hearing: to find it difficult to hear
  • to lose one’s figure: to have a figure that has lost its toned shape

Examiner: Is attractiveness a quality worthwhile aiming for?
Phoebe: I’d like to say no … it shouldn’t matter what we look like in terms of our physical appearance … but unfortunately it seems women especially are taken more seriously if they are good looking with a slender figure with perfect make up and so on …

  • slender figure: a figue that is tall and slim
  • to be good looking: to be attractive
  • make up: cosmetics

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