Describing a Picture in English

Learn the Art of Describing a Picture in English

By Padmaja S Singh  |   Submitted On February 18, 2021

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Describing anything – a situation, food, an outing, one of your experiences, or a work of art – is a great way to improve your English and improve your vocabulary. You have the freedom to use the words, expressions and phrases you deem best for the situation. In addition, it gives you an opportunity to impress your audience with your fluency.

As an online spoken English tutor, we often get queries like ‘how to improve communication skills’ or ‘how to improve vocabulary’. For such queries our answer is simple – the best way to learning English is practice. We could give you hundreds of books and study material, but all of it will be in vain if you do not practice your spoken English.

For the practice today, we will teach you how you can describe a picture tastefully and impress the people you are talking. When it comes to describing something, there are many things one should keep in mind – the tense to be used, your choice of words, and the details you want to highlight, etc. Not to forget, make sure that your sentences and phrases are grammatically correct – and this rule applies to all your English-speaking practices.

The rules of describing a picture

Understand the picture: How can you describe something you yourself have no clue about? Before you even attempt to describe a picture, take a close look at it. Study the details and try to understand it. Look at it from the perspective of a viewer – what is the most attractive thing about the picture? Which fact, should you highlight about the picture? Keep the answers to such questions ready in your head, and they will surely help you describe the picture easily.

Prepare the content: Before you begin your description, make a rough blueprint of how will you begin your description. Not just that, also prepare the body and a conclusion. This will help you form your sentences easily once you start describing the picture.

Do your research: In case you are describing a painting, there is a lot of information you will have to collect. The year of its origin, the painter, whether there is a story attached to the painting, the type of colors and canvas used, the genre of art, etc. However, collecting all this information will give you many facts to make your description interesting.

General information: Whether it is a photograph or a painting that you are describing, some information is common to both that you must use in your description. Prepare a short description, wherein you give a brief about the place, event and situation described in the picture or painting. Also, give a brief detail of what you can see in the painting or picture. Then, you can also include some background information like an important event leading to the painting or picture.

Use these tips along with your English speaking skills to effectively describe a situation/place or thing at

Padmaja Singh is a prolific Mumbai-based freelance writer who writes on numerous topics including Online English speaking courses, Success tips, Education and Improve English speaking, to name a few.

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