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Talking about yourself


A Chinese astrology organizes years into cycles of twelve with each year named after an animal. The Chinese believe that the year you are born in affects your character.


animal year characteristics
RAT 1972, 1984, 1996 Imaginative, charming, generous, quick-tempered, opportunistic1
  1. using situations for own benefit
  2. systematic, careful
  3. too patriotic
  4. become too excited and lose control
  5. ready to help
  6. (of man) polite to women
  7. not caring about serious things
  8. inclined to say things that upset or offend people
  9. wise
  10. understanding instinctively
  11. delay doing something
  12. hard-working
  13. calm, does not easily become excited or angry
  14. troubled or distressed by
  15. personality that attracts people to you
  16. wanting to gain advantage for oneself
  17. having good judgement
  18. expensive or impressive
  19. thinking of others rather than oneself
  20. gloomy
  21. inclined to speak in a severe and critical way
  22. critical person
  23. without enough experience of life, trusting too easily
  24. cause of destruction
BUFFALO 1973, 1985, 1997 Conservative, methodical2, conscientious, chauvinistic3, a born leader
TIGER 1974, 1986, 1998 Sensitive, emotional, tend to get carried away4, stubborn, rebellious
RABIT 1975,1987, 1999 Affectionate, obliging5, gallant6, sentimental, superficial7
DRAGON 1964, 1976, 1988 Fun-loving, popular, perfectionist, gifted, may sometimes be tactless8
SNAKE 1965, 1977, 1989 Sagacious9, charming, intuitive10, stingy, inclined to procrastinate11
HORSE 1966, 1978, 1990 Diligent12, independent, placid13, friendly, can be selfish and cunning
GOAT 1967, 1979, 1991 Elegant, artistic, always ready to complain, plagued by14 worry
MONKEY 1968, 1980, 1992 Witty, magnetic personality15, can be self-seeking16 and distrustful
DOG 1969, 1981, 1993 Industrious, shrewd17, decisive, very extravagant, a flashy18 dresser
PIG 1970, 1982, 1994 Down-to-earth, altruistic19, morose20, sharp-tongued21, a fault-finder22


B Charming, witty, wise - recognize yourself? Stingy, selfish, sly - must be somebody else!

Some words in the chart above have positive associations, others negative ones. Here are some words from the chart together with other words that share some aspects of their meaning. The table shows which have positive and which have negative associations.



positive negative positive Negative
generous, unstinting   uuuunstintingunstinting extravagant, immoderate shrewd, astute cunning, sly
resolute, dogged stubborn, mulish sober, serious morose, sullen
thrifty, frugal stingy, parsimonious witty, pithy sharp-tongued, terse
diligent, industrious work-obsessed,(a) workaholic tolerant, broad-minded unprincipled, unscrupulous




13.1 Match the words on the left with their opposites on the right. Use a dictionary if necessary.

1 altruistic r a) unsystematic
2 diligent r b) generous
3 intellectual r c) thick-skinned
4 methodical r d) unhelpful
5 morose r e) flexible
6 obliging r f) low-brow
7 quick-tempered r g) selfish
8 sensitive r h) cheerful
9 stingy r i) placid
10 stubborn r j) lazy


13.2 Answer these questions.

1 Which animal represents you? To what extent do the characteristics apply to you?

2 Think of a friend and find their animal in the chart. Give examples of why you think each characteristic is appropriate or not.

EXAMPLE: My friend is a rooster. I think, he is industrious because he worked very hard to find a lot of information for a research project he had to complete at college. I don’t think he is shrewd because someone, tricked him into investing in a non-existent company.

13.3 Arrange all the adjectives and descriptive phrases from A into three columns under the following headings. describe me might describe me do not describe me


13.4 Which people does the speaker have a positive opinion of and which a negative one?


EXAMPLE::Let me tell you about my new colleagues. Pat, my boss, seems very astute and witty. I find her deputy, Vince, a bit parsimonious and work-obsessed. I share an office with Julie who's a bit sullen and mulish. I also do a lot of work with Sam who's very tolerant and generous.

13.5 Now imagine that someone else is talking about the same people, but sees them in a different light. How might he or she describe them?

EXAMPLE: Pat is very sly and terse*

13.6 What are the abstract nouns from these adjectives? Use a dictionary if necessary.

1 altruistic 3 diligent 5 industrious 7 gallant 9 morose

2 parsimonious 4 placid 6 sagacious 8 terse 10 unscrupulous

13.7 The words in 13.6 are more unusual words and are most likely to be found in writing. Give a synonym for each word that would be more likely to be used when speaking.

EXAMPLE: altruistic – unselfish



Find some useful vocabulary for describing your own or others' personality by doing an Internet search on the word 'horoscopes' and following any links which interest you. On some websites it is possible to do personality quizzes to find out what sort of person you are.

(From: English Vocabulary in Use. Advanced. Michael McCarthy, Felicity O’Deil)



Date: 2015-02-16; view: 2346

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