Spanish Language Blog

Spanish Lesson Beginner 11 Physical Descriptions Posted by on Jan 19, 2011 in Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estáis?

Today we are going to look at how to describe physical appearances in Spanish. First, we are going to learn some important vocabulary related to parts of the body and body shape and size and later we will practice useful sentence structures using the same vocabulary with “el verbo tener” (to have) and “el verbo ser”(to be).

Listen and repeat after me:

Ojos: eyes
Pelo: hair
Boca: mouth
Nariz: nose
Orejas: ears
Ojos azules: blue eyes
Ojos marrones: brown eyes
Ojos verdes: green eyes
Pelo rubio: blond hair
Pelo castaño: brown hair
Pelo moreno: dark hair
Pelo pelirrojo: ginger hair
Pelo canoso: grey hair
Pelo largo: long hair
Pelo corto: short hair
Grande: big
Pequeño: small
Boca grande: big mouth
Boca pequeña: small mouth
Nariz grande: big nose
Nariz pequeña: small nose
Orejas grandes: big ears
Orejas pequeñas: small ears
Alto / alta: tall
Bajo / baja: short
Gordo / Gorda: fat
Delgado / delgada: slim

Next, we are going to make some sentences using the verbs we have learned in previous lessons “el verbo tener” (to have) and “el verbo ser”(to be) which are key verbs when describing or asking questions about physical appearance.

Tengo los ojos marrones: I have brown eyes
¿Tienes el pelo rubio?: Have you got blonde hair?
¿Tiene el pelo rubio?: Have you got blonde hair? (formal)
Tiene las orejas grandes: He / She has big ears
Tenemos el pelo corto: We have short hair
¿Tenéis los ojos verdes?: Have you (group) got green eyes?
¿Tienen los ojos verdes?: Have you (group) got green eyes? (formal)
Tienen la nariz pequeña: They have small noses

Soy alto / alta: I am tall
¿Eres bajo / baja?: Are you short?
¿Es bajo / baja?: Are you short? (formal)
Antonio es gordo: Antonio is fat
María es delgada: María is slim
Antonio y yo somos bajos: Antonio and I are short
¿Sois altos?: Are you (group) tall?
¿Son altos?: Are you (group) tall? (formal)
María y Nuria son bajas: María and Nuria are short
No soy alta: I am not tall

This is all for today. I hope you have enjoyed the lesson and feel confident enough to try making some basic physical descriptions of people. Start by writing a few sentences describing yourself, friends and family as this will help you to better remember the vocabulary and sentence structures from today’s class. Try also writing some descriptions of people you see in a newspaper or magazine. As with everything, when learning a foreign language, practice makes perfect, so repeat and repeat the exercises until you are completely confident and remember everything without referring to the lesson notes.

I hope you have a great week and look forward to seeing you next time.


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About the Author: Laura & Adam

Laura & Adam have been blogging and creating online Spanish courses for Transparent Language since 2010. Laura is from Bilbao in northern Spain and Adam is from Devon in the south of England. They lived together in Spain for over 10 years, where their 2 daughters were born, and now they live in Scotland. Both Laura & Adam qualified as foreign language teachers in 2004 and since have been teaching Spanish in Spain, the UK, and online.


  1. gary:

    Gracias Laura! The basic verb exercise was ideal for me.

  2. Schiezka Kremes:

    Muchas Gracias seniorita! very informative blog!

  3. Carolina:

    Hola Laura.
    Como estas?
    Mira yo enseno espanol a extranjeros y tengo una pregunta para ti. Por que se usa el verbo ser y tener para descripciones fisicas?