When we travel to new places we get to meet people with different characters.
Literally this means that when we travel we meet people like Mickey Mouse!
These are usually fictional, for example Spiderman is a character, and so is Snow White. If they are performed by actors, then the actors are said to be in character. When actor Christopher Reeve was wearing his Superman costume he was in character – he was not himself, he was Superman!
Sometimes we refer to someone as a character if they have a particularly colourful personality. Such a person is usually very popular and probably quite extrovert, always telling jokes and stories.
- My mate John is a real character! He’s always telling jokes and has so many stories to tell about his adventures!
The uncountable form of character is used to talk about a person or a thing that has endured difficult circumstances or experiences and as a result has won our respect and admiration.
An old building that has been beaten by storms and is covered in moss can be said to have character. Similarly an old man or woman with missing teeth and wrinkles that tell a story can also be said to have character.
People can acquire character as a result of certain life experiences that involve self-discipline such as military training or certain extreme sports – so-called character-building activities. These people are often older because it takes time to acquire the kind of experience that develops character. However this is not always the case. An attempt to sail around the world solo would almost certainly give a person character.
sifat / ciri khas
These can apply to people as well as things, and cover not only personality but also appearance and other physical factors.
- A typical solid body bass guitar has specific characteristics.
- (= colour, sound quality, size, etc.)
- These characteristics are typically evident before age 3.
- (= behavioural, physical, psychological)
This is probably the word our writer was looking for in the opening example (above).
- When we travel to new places we get to meet people with different characteristics.
Often the adjective form is used when talking about the characteristics of people in different locations and cultures.
- Violence as a part of public protest is very characteristic of the French.
- A characteristic of Indonesians is their tendency to avoid confrontation.
Notice that you need to add the preposition ‘of’ when using the adjective form!
Now try this practice activity.