Characteristics are physical or personality traits that someone has, while traits are more general qualities or tendencies. While someone’s characteristics might change over time, their traits are more static and unchanging. In other words characteristics are features that describe something, while traits are qualities that something possesses.


Characteristics are the defining features of something, For example, the characteristic of a rock might be its hardness, while a trait might be its colour. When it comes to people, characteristics can be physical (like height or hair colour) or they can be personality-based (like being shy or outgoing).


Traits are a little different. They are more like personal attributes. A trait is a distinguishing quality or characteristic of a person, object, or place. It’s usually something that’s considered to be positive, like intelligence or strength.

Explaining characteristics and traits

Characteristics are qualities or features that describe someone or something. Traits are distinguishing features that belong to a particular person or thing.

For example, some of the characteristics of a rose are that it is beautiful, has a sweet smell, and has thorns. These are all qualities that describe the rose. The traits of a rose would be its color (red, pink, white, etc.), its size (small, medium, large), and its shape (round, oval). These are all features that make the rose unique and distinguish it from other flowers.

So, when you’re describing someone, remember to use the word “characteristic” if you’re talking about a quality that could belong to anyone or anything. Use the word “trait” if you’re referring to something that makes the person or thing being described different from others.

Photo by 愚木混株 cdd20 on Unsplash

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