• How to describe a picture (useful phrases)
  • digbi.net
  • 09.05.2022
  • Mittlere Reife
  • Englisch
  • 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
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Useful phrases: Describing a picture

1 Introduction

Give a general overview of what the picture is about: Where? & When?

What? (use the present progressive!)

Useful phrases

This picture was probably taken ...

It shows ...

This picture was probably taken in the USA (where?) in the morning (when?).

It shows a cowboy who is riding on a horse (what?).

2 Description - WHAT IS WHERE?
  1. Describe the most important of the picture.
  2. Move around the picture.
Useful phrases

"The central focus of the picture is..."

"In the foreground / background ..."

Write positions in pictures at the beginning or end of your sentence.

Positions in pictures:

The central focus of the picture is the cowboy on his horse.

You can see another cowboy in the background on the left.

There is a big tree at the top on the right.

You can see some more people in the background.


AT the top

ON the left

AT the top

IN the middle

AT the top

ON the right

ON the left

IN the middle

ON the right

AT the bottom

ON the left

AT the bottom

in the middle

AT the bottom

ON the right

2 Description - WHO IS DOING WHAT?
  1. say what the are doing (present progressive!)
  2. describe the age
  3. describe the clothes, hairstlye, facial expression.
Useful phrases
  1. infant; toddler; young boy/girl; teenage boy/girl; young, middle-aged, eldery woman/man
  2. happy, sad, interested, bored, nervous...

The cowboy is racing with his horse. Right now, his horse is jumping.The cowboy is probably middle-aged. He is wearing a cowboy-hat, a shirt, jeans and riding-boots. His horse is black. You cannot see the cowboy's face. The other cowboy is also riding his horse. He isn't riding as fast as the cowboy in the middle of the picture.

3 Interpretation

of places and objects.

Try to answer many questions:

  • What kind of place is it?
  • Why are the people there?
  • What do the objects & landscape tell you?
  • What had happened earlier?
  • What will (maybe) happen later?
Useful phrases
  1. The place is like a / looks like a ...
  2. The people are probably there to ...
  3. The (object/landscape) tells me that ...
  4. ... probably happened before the picture.
  5. ... will probably happen after the picture.

The place looks like a cowboy range. The cowboy is probably there to win the race against the other cowboys. The horses produce a lot of dust. That tells me that they are racing really quickly. The start of the race probably happened before the picture. The horse will probably throw the cowboy off of his horse after the picture.

4 What do you think about the picture?

Tell your opinion about the picture.

Useful phrases
  1. It seems as if ...
  2. The lady/man/person/... seems to ...
  3. Maybe ...
  4. I think ...
  5. ... might be a symbol of ...
  6. The atmosphere is peaceful/depressing ...
  7. I (don't) like the picture because ...
  8. It makes me think of ...

It seems as if the horse of the first cowboy does not like to race because it is trying to throw the cowboy off. I don't like this picutre because I think that it is cruel to race animals. Maybe the cowboys could also use cars instead.