How to Identify Character Traits in a Story? | Learning Concepts
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Make Inferences

Concept: Identify Character Traits

What are Character Traits?

Characters create and drive the story forward.

  • Character traits are parts of a personality. It tells the reader more about the character.
  • The character’s behaviour, reactions, how they walk, run, sleep, eat etc., bring out their characteristic traits.


These actions show us the character traits like if the character is friendly, curious, happy, sad, confused or angry.

  1. Feelings
  2. A character’s feelings are evident in the passage when you look for a change in the character’s emotion in a situation.


    When Vikram saw the blank paper, he wanted to immediately draw something. He was excited. He could not wait to draw a picture and colour it the way he imagined it.


    We can infer from the passage that Vikram is creative.

  3. Dialogue
  4. When you read the dialogues said by a character it tells you more about the characters’ attitude or emotions.


    “This is how we can split the task,” said Dinesh in a stern voice. “I will draw the poster, and you colour it,” he said.

    We can infer that Dinesh is commanding.

  5. Actions
  6. The character’s actions in the situation change from time to time which shows if the character has learned how to behave well in a given situation.


    Neethu looked at the Maths homework and sighed. She took out her pencil and eraser slowly, scribbled something and quickly shut the workbook.


    We can infer Neethu is lazy and does not like the subject Maths.

  7. Thoughts
  8. Sometimes the author also mentions what the character thinks about various things around them. This gives the reader more information to understand the character and relate to the character better.


    Kiara thought to herself, what would happen if she ate ice cream. She wondered whether her mother would scold her.

    We can infer that Kiara loves ice cream so much that she is ready to hear her mom scolding too.

  9. Appearance
  10. Make a note of outside physical features that the author mentions about a character or shown through pictures.


    Adjectives like short, tall, stout, plump, fair, dark, curly hair, long hair, wide eyes, etc., are used to describe the physical features of a character.

How Do We Find Character Traits?

  • As a reader, you can predict the character's traits from what the character thinks, says and acts in a given situation.
  • We might infer a character trait like feelings from the manner in which the author speaks.
  • Note down the actions that the character does or feelings during an event.
  • Check for actions, feelings, dialogue, and thoughts to infer definite traits for each character.

Common Mistakes

  1. Not reading the story carefully. To infer character traits, you must read the story carefully or else you won’t be able to understand the character properly.
  2. Not writing down the character traits as the story progresses. It is important to note down the specific traits as and when the story progresses. You can lose track of what the character said or how they reacted, or what they felt.
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