English Vocabulary Building Exercise: Adjectives

In my last post on adjectives, we looked at the specific order in which different kinds of adjectives must be listed in English. In this post, we’re looking not at adjective order, but at adjective variety. One thing I often see ESL students struggle with is finding the right words to describe something. Having a good command of lots of different adjectives is the best way to give rich descriptions in English. It’s also a good way to avoid low marks in TOEFL Speaking and Writing.

Below is a list of eight adjectives. Each adjective is taken from the TOEFL Vocabulary PDF. After the adjective list, you’ll see eight pictures. Look up the meaning of each adjective, and match at least one adjective to every picture. (If you use more than one adjective, remember to put the adjectives in the correct order!)

There can be wrong answers here—some adjectives simply don’t describe certain pictures very well. But there’s also probably more than one right answer for each picture. Think carefully and creatively as you learn these words and use them to describe the images you see. And in my next post on adjectives, I’ll show you these pictures again and tell you what I was thinking, in terms of which words match to which images.


  • accurate
  • alternative
  • annual
  • capable
  • complex
  • diverse
  • inadequate (the opposite of adequate from the Magoosh TOEFL PDF)
  • unaware (the opposite of aware from the Magoosh TOEFL PDF)




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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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