Keith Kelly looks at examples of language used in describing attributes and characteristics from the area of geography, covering adjective, noun and verb phrases.

adjective phrases for describing typicality

(is) characteristic of / for
Deforestation has long been characteristic of development, as people create more land for farming and settlement, and wood for fuel.

(is) unique of / for
The wetlands are unique for the chemical properties of rare flora and fauna, which environmentalists are anxious to protect.

(is) typical of / for
These crops provide the wine, olive oil and pasta so typical of southern Italian traditional meals.

adjectives for describing importance

Globalisation has increased demands for a wide range of services, and international trade in services has become a vital element for an efficient global economy.

Green belts form an essential part of any new town development.

key / major
The question of sovereignty will be a key issue on any agenda for the future direction of the EU.

noun phrases for identifying attributes

One of the most outstanding features of world trade in merchandise goods is the dominance of high-income regions.

Another aspect to consider is that some tourists may be put off by the obvious poverty of many people in India.

Social education for men is another vital element in the struggle for gender equality.

As part of the hydroelectric scheme, a dam was built across the river.

This cassette-tape-sized component can be described as the computer’s ‘brain’.

Climate is an important factor in making some locations attractive to tourism.

The main ingredients of soil are the small particles from weathered parent rock.

Make sure that you have at least four pieces of relevant detail in each point.

Suggest two pieces of evidence from the photograph in support of your answer.

verb phrases for identifying characteristics

Evenly spaced contours show an even slope.

Some river valleys display terraces at various levels.

What does this photograph reveal about the effect of urbanization on the landscape?

GNP is the indicator most frequently used to illustrate levels of economic development.

London and its satellite urban areas represent one of Europe’s largest conurbations.

be known as
Lands reclaimed from the sea are commonly known as polders.

verb phrases used for listing attributes

Most towns and cities have many different functions and so may be referred to as being multi-functional.

Rock-based energy resources or fossil fuels may include coal, oil, gas and peat.

All systems contain inputs, processes and outputs.

consist of
The Swiss Alps consist largely of high mountains with steep slopes and thin soils.

be made up of
Earth’s outer crust is made up of solid rock; mostly basalt and granite.