GCSE Spanish describing a photo

The purpose of this article article is to help students in GCSE Spanish describing a photo.

The phrases and structures below will help you get your description up and running.

They are simple easy to remember "block phrases" which can be committed to memory.

It means that you will be able to get your description without having to think too hard!  

Para empezar
En la imagen
En la foto
Puedo ver
Se puede ver
La foto muestra
La foto fue sacada en
To start off with
In the image
In the photo
There is/There are
I can see
You / one can see
The photo shows
The photo was taken in
GCSE Spanish describing a photo

Now for the interactive section ...

You have read the phrases above ... but do you know them?

So, how do you say?

GCSE Spanish oral - photocard - setting the scene

GCSE Spanish oral - photocard - setting the scene

The expressions below will help you describe where people and things are in the picture.

They add texture and flavour to what you are saying.

Use them to impress not only yourself, but your teacher and the examiners!


......these expressions are very useful in other parts of the exam.

Don't be put off by "a la izquierda" ...

If you don't like the look of it - make sure that you listen to the video on YouTube which goes with this article (see below).

Remember the "z" is pronounced "th".

If that still causes you trouble - just go for an "s" sound.

En primer plano
Al fondo
A la izquierda
A la derecha
Cerca de
Enfrente de
Detrás de
In the foreground
In the background
On the left
On the right
Close to
GCSE Spanish describing a photo

So, how do you say?

GCSE Spanish oral - photocard - where something is

GCSE Spanish oral - photocard - where something is

You will know most if not all of the expressions below.

They are fairly standard and crop up all over the place.

The challenge in the oral part of the exam is for you to make sure that you can remember them easily.

... make sure that these key expressions are in your active memory. That is you can remember them quickly and easily.

If you can that difficult - make sure you know one or two REALLY well.

Hace sol
Hace buen tiempo
Hace mal tiempo
Está nublado
Hay mucho que ver
Hay mucha acción
Es cultural
It's sunny
It's nice weather
It's bad weather
It's raining
It's cloudy
There's lots to see
There's lots of activity
It's cultural
GCSE Spanish describing a photo

So, how do you say?

GCSE Spanish oral - photocard - what's the weather like?

GCSE Spanish oral - photocard - what's the weather like?

The phrases below will help you focus on the key elements in the photo.

Keep it simple and do not overcomplicate things!

Follow the expression .... sometimes less is more.​​​​​

That is so true in this part of oral exam when you need to describe a photo.

Un hombre / Una mujer
Unas personas
Unos edificios
Unos árboles
Una escena de
Un grupo de
A man or woman
Some people
Some buildings
Some trees
A scene of
A group of
Young people

So, how do you say?

GCSE Spanish describing a photo

The following phrases allow you describe simply and accurately the people who are in the photo.

Note the singular and plural variations...as well as the masculine and the feminine changes.

for example:

Ella está cansada (note the a)

Parecen emocionados (note the n and the s).

Contento (a,os,as)
Triste (s)
Cansado (a,os,as)
Emocionado (a,os,as)
They seem (he/she seems)
They are (he/she is)

So, how do you say?

GCSE Spanish describing a photo - adjectives

The verbs below add a higher level of sophistication to your description. 

Grammatically the forms are called the present continuous - and they are formed exactly the same way as they are in English.

If the list looks a bit long to you, just lock a way two or three of the expressions and sprinkle them into your description.

Know a little well is a good moto to follow.

Está(n) comiendo
Está(n) hablando
Está(n) discutiendo
Está(n) sonriendo
Está(n) riendo
Está(n) trabajando
Está(n) jugando
Está(n) celebrando
Está(n) descansando
They are eating (he/she is eating)
They are speaking (he/she is speaking)
They are arguing (he/she is arguing)
They are smiling (he/she is smiling)
They are eating (he/she is laughing)
They are working (he/she is working)
They are playing (he/she is playing)
They are celebrating (he/she is celebrating)
They are resting (he/ she is resting)
GCSE Spanish describing a photo - actions

So, how do you say?

You have lots of opinions ....

... and it is great if you can use a variety of phrases in Spanish to express your opinion.

Why not be ambitious and say .... "diría que ...."

Your teacher ( and the examiner) will definitely pick up on it.

You might also like to use "me recuerda a ....." 

This allows you to show off your knowledge of the the past tense (and this part of the oral exam is a great part for you to show off what you know).

Here is an example:

"me recuerda a mi visita a España el año pasado cuando fui a la costa y ...."

You get the idea! 

Dip into the list below and lock them away!

There's exam gold in those expressions!

Opino que
Creo que
Pienso que
Imagino que
Supongo que
Diría que
Me parece que
Me recuerde a
I think that
I believe that
I think that
I imagine that
I suppose that
I would say that
It seems to me that
It reminds me of

So, how do you say?

GCSE Spanish describing a photo - opinions

And , just to wrap things up...

Expressing whether you like (or don't) like something.

Keep it simple and accurate.

That's the way to score well in the description.

Also, note the different ways to express "because"

dado que ... literally "given that"

puesto que ...."since" 

ya que ... an alternative for porque.

(No) me gusta la foto

dado que / puesto que / ya que

es bonita

está lleno de color

I like (don't) like the photo


it is pretty

it is full of colour

So, how do you say?

GCSE Spanish describing a photo - connectives


There you have it.

Lots of help and suggestions for GCSE Spanish describing a photo.

The key points are:

  • To keep the description simple and accurate.
  • Not to be too ambitious
  • Work within what you know to be correct 

¡Buena suerte!

GCSE Spanish describing a photo
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GCSE Spanish describing a photo
A helpful post post which describes the way in which a student can tackle the challenge of describing a photo in Spanish.
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