Adjective Word Order

Using adjectives is crucial when describing a noun or pronoun, and often we use two or more adjectives together.  Good writers and speakers are able to put adjectives in a natural sounding word order to create a clear mental image for the reader or listener, so we need to be aware of the correct adjective order when using multiple adjectives in a sequence.

The order of adjectives is usually: quantity, opinion, size, age, shape, colour, origin, material, purpose.  However, this order can vary slightly, and is often influenced by friends, community, and media.  The first three categories tend to have more variation than the last three.

QUANTITY


OPINION

APPEARANCE

AGE

 

COLOR

ORIGIN / 
MATERIAL

 

TYPE / 
FUNCTION

Two Pretty

SIZE

New Red

ORIGIN

TYPE

Five Bad Huge Young Dark blue Mexican 1st class
Hundreds Smart Short Old Bright pink Canadian Multi-purpose
Many Difficult Skinny Baby Light green Solar Wireless
Several Interesting Tall Teenage Yellowish Oceanic LCD
Few Boring Heavy Youthful Pastel Northern Women’s
Little Delicious

SHAPE

Elderly Silver

MATERIAL

FUNCTION

Each Disgusting Square / Oval Ancient Colourless Glass Dancing
 All  Stupid  Elongated
Comfortable

CONDITION

Prehistoric Pale Cloth Cooking
Cheap Hot Recent Polka-dot Concrete Sleeping
Funny Broken Modern Striped  Cotton Running
Useful Worn  Leather Work
Valuable Shiny  Ceramic Reference

.

Aaaand here’s some examples!

QUANTITY OPINION SIZE AGE SHAPE COLOR ORIGIN MATERIAL PURPOSE NOUN
two  expensive black European  racing cars
 a beautiful old red brick house
a few magnificent Mexican beach blankets
one interesting teenaged Korean girl
a square Italian  marble  dining table
many well-made tiny round resin earrings
several cheap long shiny stainless steel cooking knives
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