ESL Friendship Vocabulary Activity

Here’s a simple exercise to give your pre-intermediate students some practice talking about ¬†friends, or giving them practice describing people.

First, show them this list:

Ask them what kind of words they are. Answer: adjectives. Ask what you can describe with these adjectives: nouns. What kind of nouns? People. Give some examples: She is a trustworthy girl. He is a sensitive boy. etc.

Tell them to work with a partner and categorize the above words as describing:


  • a good friend
  • a bad friend
After maybe 3-4 minutes, show them these partial sentences:
  • A good friend is _____,______, and _______.
  • A bad friend is _____,______, and _______.
Draw attention to the use of commas and the word “and.” Tell them to show three words to describe each, and then tell the class.
Following this, I will show a picture of my best friend and then describe him. His name is Rich and he is rich (true story!), so this always amuses the learners. Then have them describe their best friends. Encourage them to use the vocabulary from above.
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