Descriptive Text – Concept, characteristics, types and examples

We explain what a descriptive text is, its characteristics, types and various examples. Also, other types of text.

descriptive text
A descriptive text explains in detail what an object, person or situation is like.

what is a descriptive text?

Descriptive texts are a type of text – not necessarily written – that It is characterized by approaching a topic or a topic with the intention of exhausting its traits or attributes, that is, to make a description of the matter. In this it is distinguished from other types of text, such as narrative or argumentative.

In general, the description consists of explaining in detail and in an organized way what an object, a person or a situation is like, highlighting its different types of features so that the interlocutor can get an idea of ​​what we mean, despite not having seen or witnessed it. . It is what we do, for example, when we lose an object and we ask someone if they have seen it, giving them information regarding its most obvious features.

Thus, descriptive texts are those in which the description predominates, or in any case their purpose is to carry it out, although elements of another type may also be present. They are very common in everyday life, and are also part of literary genres such as poetry, ekphrasis, prosopopeia or portraiture.

Characteristics of descriptive texts

Descriptive texts are characterized by the following:

  • The main purpose of the text is the description: exhaust the features or characteristics of what is explained or exposed.
  • The declarative or attributive sentences, that is, those in which the predicate confers attributes to the subject.
  • Noun phrases, adjectives, appositions abound, or similar constructions, such as adjectival phrases or subordinate adjectives. Circumstantial complements are also widely used to contextualize what has been said.
  • It is generally used the present tense (s) or the past imperfect (era) of the indicative mood of the verb. In addition, verbs of state, nature or belonging tend to predominate.
  • Are common metaphors, enumerations and comparisons.

Descriptive text types

Descriptive texts can be classified depending on the type of description that is carried out in them. Thus, we can talk about:

  • Objective or technical description, when it is carried out without interfering with anyone’s personal impressions, that is, when a general, impersonal, nonspecific point of view is used to carry out the description.
  • Subjective or literary description, when the description is made from a personal or intimate point of view, resorting to the emotions, impressions and subjectivities of the person describing.

And at the same time as:

  • Static description, when in the situation or subject described they do not present changes and can be explained by means of state verbs, such as ser or estar.
  • Dynamic description, when the situation or subject described presents constant changes or is in process, so it is better to opt for verbs of movement: go, come, etc.

Examples of descriptive texts

Common examples of descriptive texts are:

  • A stray cat ad: “It has a black body and white legs, except the right front, and an orange collar. It responds to the name of Napoleon ”.
  • An ode to the lips of the loved one: “Your lips are rose petals that bloom hidden from my gaze, sweet and fleshy, they have the color of a spring sunset.”
  • A product description: “The dimensions of the product are 33 x 59 cm. and has a weight of 500 gr. approximately. The material is polyurethane with rubber thermal alloy. The available colors are: red, green and blue ”.
  • An excerpt from a news report: “The events took place in the victim’s house, a three-bedroom, loft-style apartment located in the Lavapiés neighborhood in the city of Madrid.”

Other types of text

In addition to descriptive texts, it is common to refer to:

  • Narrative texts, in which the intention to tell a story or establish a chronicle of events ordered in some way predominates.
  • Argumentative texts, in which an argumentation (that is, an argumentative defense or attack) of some kind is carried out in favor or against a cause. Its task, obviously, is to convince the receiver.
  • Instructive texts, in which information or explanation is provided to the recipient, in order to carry out certain actions or to solve certain problems.