Description is a discursive tool that exposes the characteristics of objects, people or events. It is an explanation that is characterized by being detailed and orderly. For instance: The house was in chaos: there were boxes full of things everywhere. It was evident that no one had set foot there in recent years, there was nothing that was not dusty. Spider webs were in every corner of the place.
In the description, the main objective it is to characterize, in a specific or general way, what is exposed. For this reason, the descriptions use a wide range of nouns and adjectives.
One way to classify a description is according to the intervention or not of time. Based on this criterion, two kinds of descriptions are identified:
- Static. It exposes a reality that remains fixed and stable, which does not register any changes. In this type of description the verbs predominate be and to be.
- Dynamic. It exposes a changing reality, that is, what is described is subject to time. If what is described includes people or characters, they will carry out actions that will modify the elements of the scene. In this class of descriptions there are many verbs referring to movements such as, for example, zoom in, reduce, move, start, zoom out.
Examples of static description
- In the center of the garden lies a cistern, covered with vines that appear to have swallowed it. In the background is the small garden that my grandparents took care of for years and from which came those delicious tomatoes that accompanied every meal that my grandmother prepared. To the side, almost intact, is the hammock we used to play with when we were little.
- He is plump, with a good-natured appearance. He always wears a suit and tie, which he accompanies with old and torn shoes that are out of tune. When it’s cold, add a beret and scarf to your outfit. The tip of its nose is a small red ball. His teeth, small and separated, as if they were made of milk, give him a childish touch.
- It is inevitable to leave there with that feeling of not having read anything. The room is full of books. The shelves reach up to the ceilings. They are so high that it is impossible to read the spine of each copy that lies on the last shelves and, without the stairs there, they become unreachable. The smell of an old book permeates every inch of the room, which also displays maps of remote places and various globes of different sizes and faded colors. One of the walls is reserved for a window that overlooks the patio. In front of him, there is an old brown leather armchair, accompanied by an old floor lamp that invites you to read.
- I only keep that old grandfather clock because it belonged to my great-grandfather. There are hardly any traces of the numbers that indicate the time; its wood, which used to be varnished, is all chipped and cracked. You have to wind it up all the time and every half hour it does nothing but scream.
- If I had to choose a place to live, that would be it. The cabin is small and very modest. But it is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and, right in front, is the lake. It is icy, but beautiful, crystal clear. Snowy peaks are reflected in it. In the morning, you can hear the birds and when the wind blows it is as if someone were whistling loudly, as if they did not want to go unnoticed.
Dynamic description examples
- It’s two in the afternoon and the only thing you can see in this town is a giant weed rolling through the deserted streets; Except for old José, who rocks in his old wooden chair from the porch of his house, who falls apart. The sun cracks the earth. It is the hour without shade and there is no better plan than to take a nap, until the milkman arrives; who visits house to house, interrupts the dream of each neighbor, to fulfill his mission: to leave the bottles ordered.
- Music sneaks out the door and a hint of blues is heard before entering the venue. Little by little, the lights of the small bar reduce their intensity to give prominence to the musicians, already located on stage. From time to time, the waiters interrupt the listeners, who remain absorbed, to deliver their orders, which are reduced to beers and the occasional sandwich.
- The sun rises and the clouds, automatically, move to make room for what seems to be a unique show. People, from their loungers, or lying on some makeshift blanket, quietly enjoy that moment in which everything becomes light. The consolation of all, once the show is over, is that tomorrow, once again, they will be able to attend the event again.
- It seemed that someone had been there, and that they had turned everything upside down. It is that the wind was so strong that it opened the windows of the window. The purple curtains began to inflate and billow, throwing everything they touched. Flying papers, vases and glasses full of wine that got in his way. In a second, the room took on a life of its own.
- He arrived nervous, quite anxious, as if something afflicted him. He kept clutching his head and ruffling the few remaining hairs. His hands were shaking and he was perspiring more than necessary. It was as if his tics had been exponentially accentuated. Suddenly, it disappeared. We heard no more about him.