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Order of Adjectives
In English, it is common to use more than one adjective before a noun. For example, “It is a beautiful long new dress.” or “She has bought a square white Japanese cake.” When you use more than one adjective, you have to put them in the right order – order of adjectives.
Learn how to put adjectives in the right order with useful grammar rules and examples.
In general, the adjective order in English is:
Words that work as articles and other limiters including numbers.
Example: a, an, the, both, either, some, many, my, your, our, their, his, her, five, each, every, this, that…
In general, an opinion adjective explains what you think about something (other people may not agree with you).
Example: good, bad, great, terrible, pretty, lovely, silly, beautiful, horrible, difficult, comfortable/uncomfortable, ugly, awful, strange, delicious, disgusting, tasty, nasty, important, excellent, wonderful, brilliant, funny, interesting, boring.
Size and Shape
Adjectives that describe a factual or objective quality of the noun.
- A size adjective, of course, tells you how big or small something is.
Example: huge, big, large, tiny, enormous, little, tall, long, gigantic, small, short, minuscule.
- A shape adjective describes the shape of something.
Example: triangular, square, round, flat, rectangular.
An age adjective (adjective denoting age) tells you how young or old something or someone is.
Example: young, old, new, ancient, six-year-old, antique, youthful, mature, modern, old-fashioned, recent…
A color adjective (adjective denoting color), of course, describes the color of something.
Example: red, black, pale, bright, faded, shining, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, pink, aquamarine…
Denominal adjectives denoting source of noun.
An origin adjective describes where something comes from.
Example: French, American, Canadian, Mexican, Greek, Swiss, Spanish, Victorian, Martian…
Denominal adjectives denoting what something is made of.
Example: woollen, wooden, silk, metal, paper, gold, silver, copper, cotton, leather, polyester, nylon, stone, diamond, plastic…
Final limiter, often regarded as part of the noun.
A purpose adjective describes what something is used for. These adjectives often end with “-ing”.
Example: writing (as in “writing paper”), sleeping (as in “sleeping bag”), roasting (as in “roasting tin”), running (as in “running shoes”).
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