Order of adjectives

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,224 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 2016 in Grammar

Order of adjectives

Adjectives in English follow a very specific order. It sounds correct to a native English speaker to have the adjectives in the correct order, and it sounds strange if even one adjective is in the wrong place.

The order is:

number   opinion   size    age    shape     color   origin  material    purpose    Noun

So, "three nice small old circular blue Spanish silk serving cloths" is completely correct. Normally, though, English speakers stop at two or three adjectives in a row to a avoid long, confusing sentences.

Put the following adjectives in order before the noun.  

moon     white, little, winter

fields      Chinese, dark, rice, ancient

leaf        young, little,  single

woman  foreign, tiny, working, wrinkled

little white winter moon          (William Goyen)

ancient dark Chinese rice fields

single little young leaf    (William Goyen)

tiny wrinkled foreign working woman

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