A person you admire

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Hello and welcome to Learn English Vocabulary. My name is Jack and I’m making this podcast for you to learn or revise English vocabulary. You can find a transcript of this podcast on LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk. There’s a page for this podcast with the transcript, an activity and a task for you to do in the comments section.

Today, I want to talk about people I admire. You see, a little while ago, I made a podcast about negative adjectives, adjectives you can use to describe people you don’t like and I thought I should make a podcast that focuses on positive characteristics. So I’m going to focus on adjectives that you can use to describe people you like, adjectives you can use to describe a person’s character and not their appearance.

I’m going to present this language in five short interviews. In each interview, I’m going to be answering questions about a person I admire. The verb admire has two main meanings. The first means to find something attractive to look at. So you might admire a friend’s new car or perhaps on a trip to Rome, you admire the architecture and all the historic buildings. However, if you admire a person, it means you respect them and like the way they behave. The five people I want to talk about today are all people I respect and I admire them because of their personalities and characteristics.

After the podcast, I have created some speaking activities that you can do on Learn English Vocabulary that will help you practise using the language and that will help you develop your fluency and speaking skills. There is a link on the Learn English Vocabulary website on the side of this page where you can sign up to join the speaking lessons.

OK … let’s get started. 

Here’s interview one.

Tell me about a person that you admire.

Who are they and how do you know or know about them?

OK – someone I admire. Well, the first person that I admire is my grandfather. He was a very old fashioned man in many ways, but he had some characteristics that I think are quite rare these days.

Why do you admire him? What characteristics do you admire?

Well, he had integrity. He knew his own mind and was not prepared to compromise or change his principles. This was very important to him. He was straight-talking and completely honest. He was honourable in a way that you don’t often see these days. He was also a very intelligent man who managed to earn a degree without going to university. At least, that’s the story I was told. He managed to teach himself the knowledge required to sit the exams and passed, while working a full-time job.

Why do you think he was honourable?

This might sound strange, but he wasn’t ambitious and at work, he refused to suck up to his bosses. He did his job to the best of his ability, but at the end of the day, he put his pen down and went home. He would never have dreamed of lying or cheating anyone. But when he had done a fair days work, he stopped and went home to his family. I think he may have missed out on promotions because of this attitude, but I have always had a lot of respect for him because of it.

Interview number two

Tell me about a person that you admire.

Who are they and how do you know or know about them?

One person that I’ve always admired was a teacher at my school called Mrs Evans. She was my religious studies and theology teacher and she really taught me how to think. That sounds strange when I say it now, but it’s true. 

Why do you admire Mrs. Evans? What characteristics do you admire?

Mrs Evans was a great teacher. One of the things I admired was that she was really open-minded. If anyone brought up a strange or new idea in class, she would always treat the ideas with respect and consider them, even if they seemed silly. She never dismissed anything without thinking about it first or at least gave me and my classmates the chance to discuss it first. She was also really flexible. 

Why do you think she’s flexible?

Well, there was never a classroom situation that seemed to trouble her. If we were having a discussion and it went off in a strange direction and it would during most lessons, she would gently nudge and make suggestions until we were discussing the class material again. I think part of this was that she was very understanding. She could sense how people were feeling and offered help when they needed it and also challenged them when they needed it. She really challenged me a couple of times and it was difficult when it happened, but she was understanding enough to know that I needed it and could cope with it so I learnt a lot from the experience.

Interview number three

Tell me about a person that you admire.

Who are they and how do you know or know about them?

This time, I want to talk about a man called Michael. This is someone I have worked with for a long time now. Michael is a colleague of mine who actually interviewed me for a job almost 10 years ago.

Why do you admire Michael? What characteristics do you admire?

Michael is a really kind guy. He’s very open emotionally and is genuinely warm-hearted. He makes friends easily – he must have hundreds of friends, and he genuinely cares about all of them. He’s really generous with his time and money and loves being out with people. 

Why do you think he’s kind?

This is quite difficult to say. It’s not like he’s into charity or grand acts of generosity. But when you are with him, he talks about himself openly, he’s not guarded or closed and he asks about me and my family with real interest and concern. And later, he remembers what I have told him and always asks with concern after my family. He’s just a really kind person. 

Interview number four

Tell me about a person that you admire.

Who are they and how do you know or know about them?

OK – a person I admire is my wife. How do I know her? Well, I married her and we have two children. Being a parent with someone teaches you a lot about them.

Why do you admire your wife? What characteristics do you admire?

There are lots of characteristics that I admire. My wife is probably the bravest person I know. She has very protective instincts I think. She is also really sensitive. She’s a teacher as well, but mostly teaches young children and she has an incredible way of sensing how her pupils are feeling and getting on. She’s also incredibly supportive of me in my work and really patient.

Why do you think she’s brave and sensitive and supportive and patient?

Ha ha – OK. Years ago, we were living in Cairo in Egypt. We had been on holiday in Dahab on the Red sea and had just got back to Cairo. One of my colleagues had been there at the same time with her mum. As we were getting off the bus, we were crossing the street and My colleague’s mum fell over. Me and my colleague both looked up the road to see if any traffic was coming and there was a bus heading straight towards us. I looked back to my friend’s mum and my wife was already there, picking her up. While I was assessing the situation and the danger, my wife hadn’t hesitated. This might not sound like a big deal, but the streets in Cairo are scary and at the time I felt shame that I had not reacted sooner but also huge admiration for my wife. 

I think I explained why I think she is sensitive. She has a way with people, especially children and I think this is because she can sense or understands their feelings and needs. 

She’s supportive of me – I’ve been working in different places and on different projects and this has meant moving away from her family and just being there for me when I have been having problems with my own work

And she’s patient because … well, she has put up with me and wait for me and deal with my problems and she very rarely complains. I think she has to be really patient to do that.

Interview number five

Tell me about a person that you admire.

Who are they and how do you know or know about them?

The last person I want to talk about is an old friend. I’ve not seen or spoken to him for a very long time now and he’s a very private person so I’m not going to use his real name. Instead, I’m going to call him Eric.

Why do you admire Eric? What characteristics do you admire?

Eric is possibly the best company I’ve ever had. He’s incredibly charming. When he wants to, he can make a room full of people like him. Everybody wants to be his friend. 

He’s funny, he’s like a comedian. He doesn’t really tell jokes, he just has a funny way of looking at the world and he’s witty. This is like being funny, but it’s related to intelligence. So he makes clever funny comments and responds really quickly to funny situations.

Why do you think he’s charming?

I’m not sure. He’s not suave and sophisticated like James Bond, though he might like to think so. He’s got a bit of an attitude of not caring about things, like he’s a bit cool about most things so when he pays attention to you and wants to entertain you it makes you feel important or special in some way.  

In these interviews, I have described people who are intelligent, honest and honourable, openminded, flexible and understanding, kind, warmhearted and generous, brave, sensitive, supportive and patient and funny, witty and charming

I’m going to put an activity on the lesson page and a speaking activity together for people who want to join Learn English Vocabulary. These speaking classes are a new part of the Learn English Vocabulary website and at the moment, I’m going to offer some memberships for free, but in the future, there will have to be a small cost if they are popular as the platform and tools I’m using are not free. I would also really like to be able to work on these resources fulltime. 

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a comment or a rating or a review. I love to hear from you and any comments or suggestions you have. If there are any topics or songs or scenes from a film that you would like me to talk about or anything else you would like to hear, I would be delighted to make a podcast for you. So please visit LearnEnglishVocabulary.co.uk and say hello.

Thanks for listening.

Show CommentsClose Comments


    Posted 14/12/2020 at 3:38 pm

    Great work.

  • Seda Uludağ
    Posted 15/12/2020 at 7:59 am

    thanks nice work

  • Maya
    Posted 05/01/2021 at 3:44 am

    Thanks Jack!

  • Gisele Copatti
    Posted 19/01/2021 at 4:35 pm

    Hi, thank you for the lessons! For me, the best song of all the time is “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. It’s full of meaning and so creative… could you make a lesson about it? Thank you!

  • joy
    Posted 14/05/2021 at 7:05 am

    Thank you…greatful!!

  • Furkan
    Posted 25/10/2021 at 6:05 pm

    Hey Jake, I love your podcast. I learned a lot of words from you and still learning. Big thank you for helping me to learn English. After listening to this episode I want to say I admire you because you are a really nice and generous person. Also, your podcasts are really fun to listen to. I never get bored while I listen. Thank you very much I am grateful.

  • Miroslava
    Posted 02/11/2021 at 7:07 am

    Thank you so much for all lessons. I really love to listen to them. And- the person who I admire is everyone who take the responsibility and has been already vaccinated. These people shows that they cares not only about theselves but they also cares for the others. I am from Bulgaria and unfortunately we have only 20 % vaccinated people here.
    Thank you again!

  • Yenny
    Posted 03/02/2022 at 10:39 pm

    I really find this activity very useful. I have not find a listening like this to my students. They also like it. I would like to aply the speaking and the activities you mention . Thanks a lot !!

    • Jack
      Posted 06/02/2022 at 4:38 pm

      Hi Yenny
      I couldn’t make the technology work. I am building a new school which will be based around speaking practice. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

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