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Jen’s English Tip – Describing Someone in a Sentence

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Anne describes her brother to the private investigator.

Anne: Can you help me?
John: Well I’ll try. Now tell me about your brother Ms Lee. How old is he?
Anne: He’s twenty-three.
John: Well that would make him your younger brother. What’s his name?
Anne: David.
John: And what does he do?
Anne: He’s a student. Or – he was a student. I don’t know where he is.
John: (looks at the photo) Hmmm. How tall is he?
Anne: About a hundred and seventy-five centimetres.
John: Hmmm. And does he speak English?
Anne: Yes. He speaks English and Chinese. Mr Barbour – can you find him?
John: I’ll certainly try. Now, tell me a little about yourself Miss Lee. Where are you from?
Anne: I come from Singapore. I’m Singaporean.
John: Right, and how old are you?
Anne: I’m twenty-five.
John: What do you do?
Anne: I import wine. I’m a businesswoman. I work in my family’s business.
John: And are you married?
Anne: No, I’m single.
John: And..er..do you have a boyfriend?
Anne: Pardon?
John: Oh sorry. We private detectives are a naturally curious bunch. Ms Lee, perhaps you’d better tell the whole story.
Anne: It all started two years ago…

Study Notes

  1. About nationality

There are different words for countries and nationalities.

For example:

I’m from Australia.(country)
I’m Australian.(nationality)

I come from Indonesia.(country)
I’m Indonesian.(nationality)

In English, many nationality names are made by adding the ending ‘n’ to the country name.

Korea / Korean
Indonesia / Indonesian
Malaysia / Malaysian

John: Where are you from?
Anne: I come from Singapore. I’m Singaporean.

Sometimes we add ‘ese’ to the country name.

Vietnam / Vietnamese
Japan / Japanese

But there are exceptions:

England / English
Thailand / Thai

Check in a good dictionary for correct country and nationality names.

  1. About age

When asked our age, usually we just say a number.
How old are you?
I’m twenty-one.

We can also ask:

What is your age?

And also answer:

I’m twenty-one years
Or: I’m twenty-one years old.
Or: I’m twenty-one years of age.
Or: My age is twenty-one..

John: Now tell me about your brother Ms Lee. How old is he?

Anne: He’s twenty-three.
John: Right, and how old are you?
Anne: I’m twenty-five.

  1. About occupation

To ask about someone’s job we would ask:

What do you do?

We would answer:

I’m a teacher.

John: What do you do?
Anne: I import wine. I’m a businesswoman. I work in my family’s business.

We say do before and after you

What do you do?

We say do before and after I , we and they.

What do I do?
What do we do?
What do they do?

But for he or she we use does before and do after when asking about jobs.

What does he do?
What does she do?

John: And what does he do?
Anne: He’s a student.

  1. Other questions about a person

Questions about actions people do, which can be answered with yes or no often start with do or does.

Does he speak English?
Yes he does.

Does he speak English?
No he doesn’t.

John: Hmmm. And does he speak English?
Anne: Yes. He speaks English and Chinese.

Do you play football?
Yes I do.

Do you play football?
No I don’t.

Other questions start with are or is.

Are you married?
Yes I am.

Are you married?
No, I’m not.

John: And are you married?
Anne: No, I’m single.

Is he a student?
Yes he is.

Is he a student?
No he isn’t

John: Hmmm. How tall is he?
Anne: About a hundred and seventy-five centimetres.


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Learning Thai With Jen

All of Jen’s students say she is the best Thai teacher they have had because she is patient with them and teaches at their pace with no pressure to learn quickly.

Jen teaches at her home in Chiang Rai and can be reached on 0814 726 644

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