50 Adjectives to Describe What You See, Hear, Feel, Smell, and Taste


Hi there. Welcome back to engVid with me, Benjamin. In today's lesson you are going

to learn or revise 50 fantastic words that will help bring your language to life. Yes,

we are going to be describing through the senses, so this will just make your language

and your conversation more dynamic, more interesting as your listener starts to imagine your words

more clearly.

We're going to start off with the sense of smell, sometimes called the olfactory sense.

How can I talk about it? You could use a phrase such as: "The smell of..." Okay? "The smell

of something was..." The smell was terrible, disgusting, fantastic, duh-duh-duh. "It smelt

of..." What did it remind you of? "It smelt of old fish", "It smelt like a kebab shop",

I don't know. Let's look at some adjectives that you could use connected with smell. "Acrid",

okay? Meaning bitter. "Had an acrid smell." Okay? So this is quite an unusual word, here.

Okay, think sort of lemons, things like that, but even more powerful. "A pungent smell".

"Pungent", probably not going to be used in a good way. A pungent smell is one that sort

of takes you by surprise in a quite unpleasant manner. "Foul", again, a word that is going

to suggest a bad smell. A foul, a disgusting smell. "A foul stench." That's another good

word to use. So, "a stench" is a really strong smell. "Fragrant". You can probably spot the

word "fragrance", so this is, you know, aftershave, perfumed, they are all fragrances. "Fragrant",

there, the adjective. This is more pleasant. This is a nice smell. "A fragrant smell of

summer flowers." Okay? It's quite innocent. "Fresh", so we're thinking straight out the

shower, a fresh smell. This is something that goes: "Oo, yes, I feel alive and awake." And

awake. "This fresh smell makes me feel like I'm walking through fields." Okay? It's one

that sort of wakes you up. "Musty", quite the opposite with musty. This is to do with

mould. So it's something that's been lying in a cupboard for a very long time, maybe

it's got holes in because it's been eaten by moths. Yes? A very old, musty smell. "Noxious",

now, this is often connected with chemicals, so it's a smell that you don't want to smell

because you know that maybe it's a pollutant, it's quite dangerous. "A noxious smell". "Rancid",

great word, "rancid", again, meaning disgusting. Horrifically awful smell. "Sharp", quite similar

to this word "acrid" here, a sharp smell, it's one that... It's not particularly nice,

but it catches you by surprise. And then a "sweet" smell is one that's nice. "Mmm, the

sweet smell of momma's home cooking."

Okay, on to sound. The clash of drums-dee-dee-dee-dee-can't stop thinking of Joseph and his... The Amazing

Technicoloured Dreamcoat. Technicolour Dreamcoat, so that's going to be to do with sight, isn't

it? More of that in a moment. Sound, how do we talk about sound? "The sound of the trumpet",

"It sounded like a full choir in good voice." Right. "Blare", so this is like a... Kind

of a wall of sound. "The blare of traffic made the man feel sad." Yeah. "The blare of

traffic", the blare, so as I said, like a wall of sound. "Chime", we think of bells,

chiming. Church bells chiming, kind of ringing. "Chirp", this is a sound that perhaps a bird

would make. Chirping away. "Chirp. Chirp. Chirp. Chirp". "Chuckle", this is to do with

laughter. "The chuckle of laughter", "The chuckle after the joke lasted a long time",

"He chuckled." So, there it's a noun: "a chuckle", but you can also use it as a verb: "to chuckle".

"Clash", we're thinking of drums, here. "The clash of the drum." Okay? We imagine that

hi-hat going: "Ptch". "A clash of drums", okay? But also you can use this word to mean

to fall out with someone, to argue. If you clash personalities it means they... You know,

you don't get along well with someone. "Crunch", I think of food with this word. "The crunch

of crisp toast", "He crunched into his breakfast cereal." Or maybe you're walking on gravel:

"The crunch of gravel underneath him." So it's sort of a... Imagine things sort of going

together. "Crunch, crunch." Okay? "Howl", maybe a dog or a wolf is going: "Owwww." Okay?

So it's slightly onomatopoeic; the sound and the meaning are quite close together. "Howl",

yup, it suggests what is happening with that word. "Rumble". Your stomach can rumble. Okay?

If you're really, really hungry and your tummy is empty, you can sometimes hear your tummy

going: "Bll-bull-bll", making weird noises. Or maybe the thunder is rumbling in the distance,

it's kind of a low, deep: "Rrl-rr-rrl-rrl" sound. "Sizzle", something in the frying pan:

"Tssss." We've got steam coming up and you can hear that sort of cooking going on, sizzling.

"Six sizzling sausages", more of that... Well, those kind of ideas in my vocal warmup video.

"Slurp", this is to do with drinking: "[Slurps]", really annoying habit, try not to do it. "[Slurps]".

Slurping tea. Okay?

On we go to taste. "The taste of India", "It tasted astonishingly good." Right. So, ten

more words to talk about taste. "Acidic", we can see the shorter word in there: "acid".

Yeah? We think of acids and alkalines. Acid, do you want to be tasting something acid?

It doesn't, like, sound that healthy to me. Acidic, not a very nice taste. A little bit

like the smell acrid, meaning bitter. "A biting taste", so we're eating perhaps, I don't know,

a piece of fruit, an apple, and it's got a biting taste, I meant to be biting the apple,

but the apple is biting me, so it's like: "Oo, this taste, it's, ah, I don't know."

It's got quite a strong taste if the taste is biting you. Similar spelling, but different:

"bitter". Okay? Again, connected with sort of lemons, acidic type things. A bitter taste.

Now, this has two meanings, so we've got the taste, but you can be bitter about something.

I'll write that. To... If you are bitter, it means you are upset, you are angry about

something. Okay? So obviously it's not a particularly good taste to have leaving in your mouth.

"Full-bodied", this is most closely associated to wine. Okay? If it's a full-bodied wine,

then it's got a good, complete taste. Okay? "Rank", "rank" is not a very nice word. If

it is a rank taste, it tastes disgusting. I'm sort of thinking of, like, dead animals

or something. "Sugary", you can all see the word "sugar" in there. If something is sugary

it tastes of sugar. "Succulent", so this is really tasty, it's got... It's got... It's

moist, it's... Just really enjoy eating, it's succulent, it's satisfying to eat. "A succulent

steak". You might be a vegetarian, but "succulent" goes well with a steak because of the repeated

S sound. "Tangy", a bit like bitter, but sort of a pleasant tang. A tangy taste is manageable.

It's... You know, it's got flavour. "A tangy lemon cheesecake" is, you know... It's not

plain, it's got some flavour, but in a good way. "Zesty", again, this is positive. If

you have a zest full of life, then you have a lot of energy. So, zesty is full of, kind

of, flavour, full of taste, but again I'm sort of associating it with a lemon, it's

that kind of fresh, biting taste. "Zingy", quite a strange word, not quite sure why I've

included this because it's not one often used, but similar to zesty: "A zingy taste", if

you just want to vary your vocabulary.

[Whistles]. Touch. Touch, yeah? The touch of something, the feel of something. "It felt..."

Okay? We're thinking what it feels like through your body. "The sensation of"... "Sensation"

means feeling. "The feel of..." Another ten words for you. "Damp" meaning wet. Yeah? "It

felt wet underfoot." Okay? It's been raining. It's damp. "Limp", the feel of his or her

handshake was limp, a limp handshake. Not good. "Rough", okay? It felt too rough. You've

got a rough handshake: "Hooyah", yeah? And your hands kind of go: "Wuh". Okay. Rough.

A rough... "His hand felt rough." It's kind of been weathered, he's been outside, it's

got, you know, a really... The opposite of smooth. "Slimy", we're thinking monsters here,

we're thinking goo. Slimy. A bit like jelly. "Sticky", like Sellotape, yeah? When you can't

get your hand off the Sellotape, it's sticky, it attaches to things. "Velvety", very smooth.

This is a very positive adjective. Velvet, okay? So that expensive, beautiful material.

If it feels velvet it's very smooth in a good way. You could also describe it in more things

than touch. "It has a velvety taste", or sound: "He had a velvety voice". "Smooth" most of

you should have come across before. "Smooth as a young person's skin", it's really...

You know, it feels nice, it's smooth. It's not... It's not like sandpaper, it's not rough.

"Frosty", so "frost" in the morning, you go outside, it's really, really cold. If something

feels frosty, it's very, very cold. "Feathery", we think of a feather, so if something is

feathery it's light and... "Light as a feather." It's feathery, it's nice and light. "Abrasive"

here we are going... Thinking of the rough idea again. If something is abrasive it's

dangerously rough. Okay? "An abrasive surface"... I'll write that for you. Abrasive surface

is one where, you know, if you go along like that with your hand you're going to lose your

skin. Okay? I've got ten more words for you. Are you ready to learn ten new words about sight?

Sight, okay? What we see with our eyes. This is why I've tried to use more colour to appeal

to how things look. "It looked beautiful", "It looked fantastic", "It looked like a beautiful

sunset". "All I could see was cars, fog", duh-duh-duh. Describe. "The sight of the Eiffel

Tower was jaw-droppingly impressive." Ten words. "Angular", so with these words I've

tried to express their meaning with how I've written them on the board. If something is

angular, then it's got sharp edges. Angular. So the shorter word would be "angle", so an

angle in math is, you know, measuring the angle there. It's all about funny lines and

shapes. Angular. "The building had an angular appearance". "Distinct", if something is distinct,

you recognize it, it's clear. "It had a distinct shape. The car was distinctive in its design".

"Blushing", if you blush then you go all red because you are embarrassed. "He looked like

he was blushing." Yes? Okay. "Filthy" means very dirty. "His car was filthy." Okay? It's

just covered in mud. "Gleaming", if something is gleaming then light is shining off it.

Very similar word, here: "glowing", you could say: "She was glowing with good health." It

means she just looks very healthy. "Grotesque" means disgusting. Okay? But it's also sort

of exaggerated, it's like a... Kind of a big, weird, theatrical pantomime, so it's a big

disgustingness. "Murky", "murky" is like something that lies down in the underworld. It's kind

of dark and forbidden, and not very clear. "It looked all murky." Okay? You kind of think

of water, the murky water. You certainly can't see your feet in murky water. "Rotund", this

is all one word, I just made a bit of a boo-boo there. "Rotund", if someone's quite fat, if

they're quite round. Okay? Can you see this word, here? Can you try and work out what

that says? Let's join the dots together. "T, T-ra", worked it out? "Trans", it's all one

word. "Translu-, translucent" means see-through.

Okay, so I've just presented to you 50 words to describe through your senses. If you can

start using these words, then people will listen to you and they will imagine what you

are saying much more clearly because you will put pictures, you will put sounds, you will

put feelings into their mind with these words. Have some fun with them. Have a go. Try them

out today. Why not do the quiz to make sure that you have fully learned these words, and

you can go out and play? Until next time, good-bye.