Order of Adjectives: Part 1
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Lesson 381
Order of Adjectives: Part 1
When more than one adjective comes before a noun, the adjectives are normally in a particular order.

Adjectives which describe opinions or attitudes (E.g. amazing) usually come first, before more neutral, factual ones (E.g. red):

E.g. She was wearing an amazing red coat.
There are certain rules regarding the placement of different kinds of adjectives in a sentence. The general order followed is:

i) Determiners – These are the various articles (the, a, an), demonstratives (this, that, these, those), possessives (my, mine, your, yours, –‘s), quantifiers (all, many etc.), numerals (one, twenty, thirty–seven etc.) and distributives (each, every, neither, either). Determiners usually come first in the order of adjectives.

ii) Observations/Quantity and Opinion – After determiners, come the adjectives that give a quantity and subjective opinion to the noun, telling ‘how much’ and ‘how was’ the noun. (Few, Most, One, Three/ Beautiful, Ugly, Difficult etc.)

iii) Size – The position after 'observations' is for the adjectives that tell about the size of the noun. (Huge, Little, Bulky, Thin, Vast, Tiny, Lean etc)

iv) Condition – tells us the general condition or state of something. E.g. (broken, cold, hot, wet, hungry, rich, easy, difficult, dirty).
So: i) Determiners, ii) Observations/Opinions, iii) Size and iv) Condition

v) Age – After condition, it is the turn of the adjectives that tell about the age of a noun either by itself or in relation to another noun. (Young, Old, Teenage, Mature, Recent, Bygone etc.)

vi) Shape – Next are the adjectives that tell about the shape or appearance of the noun. (circular, crooked, triangular, oval, wavy, straights etc.)

vii) Color – Next are the adjectives that tell the shade and hue of a noun. (pastel, red, blue, metallic, colorless, translucent etc.)

viii) Pattern – The pattern or design of something. (striped, spotted, checked, flowery

ix) Origin – adjectives that show the different geographical locations (Southern, Northern, Lunar, Mexican, French etc.)

x) Material – adjectives that talk about the raw material or texture of the objects or the behaviour of the living nouns. (wooden, plastic, steely, metallic, cottony etc)

xi) Qualifier – The qualifier or the grammatical modifier is used as an additional word or phrase to change the meaning of the noun in a sentence. (E.g. A fairly good idea. Fairly as a grammatical modifier indicates an almost large or reasonable degree of a quality (fairly accurate, fairly well-off etc.)

xii) Purpose – A purpose adjective describes what something is used for. These adjectives often end with '–ing'. E.g. sleeping (as in 'sleeping bag'), roasting (as in 'roasting tin')
Pick the correct order
He was wearing a ______
dirty, old, striped, flannel
flannel, old, dirty, striped
old, dirty, flannel, striped
Pick the correct order
I used to drive ______
an old, blue, German
a blue, old, German
an old, German, blue
Pick the correct order
He sat behind a ______
big, wooden, brown
big, brown, wooden
wooden, big, brown
Pick the correct order:
I ate a ______
delicious, ripe, green
ripe, green, delicious
Pick the correct order
I went to the neighborhood bookstore and bought an ______
interesting, small, Spanish
small, interesting, Spanish
Pick the correct order
What an ______
ugly, old, rectangular
old, rectangular, ugly
rectangular, old, ugly
Choose the correct answer.
A pretty, Chinese, silk scarf is worn by that girl.
A pretty, silk, Chinese scarf is worn by that girl
Choose the correct answer.
He invited that beautiful young lady to dinner.
He invited that young beautiful lady to dinner.
Pick the correct option:
Mary's husband gave her a ______
French porcelain
porcelain French
Pick the correct option:
There are two ______
red beautiful
Pick the correct answer.
A dirty old black cat is wandering the streets.
A black old dirty cat is wandering the streets.
Pick the correct option:
I was offered ______
a gold unusual
Pick the correct option:
My daughter has ______
long beautiful black
Pick the correct option:
Last week, I visited ______
an old lovely little
Pick the correct option:
I came into a ______
old picturesque
Pick the correct option:
It started to rain so I opened ______
an enormous red and yellow
a red and yellow enormous
Pick the correct option:
The gallery exhibited mainly ______
strange old French
old strange French
We use some adjectives only after a link verb: afraid, alive, alone, asleep, content, glad, ill, ready, sure, unable, well
E.g. She is ill ('is' is a linking verb).
But, we cannot say: The hospital is full of ill people. (We say: The hospital is full of sick people)
A few adjectives are used only in front of a noun. E.g. northern, southern, eastern, western, countless, lone, outdoor, occasional.
E.g. There were countless problems with the new computer. (Not: The problems with the new computer were countless. . =

1) Determiners – a, an, the, my, your, several, etc.
2) Observations – lovely, boring, stimulating, etc.
3) Size – tiny, small, huge, etc.
4) Condition – broken, wet, etc.
5) Age – old, new, ancient, etc.
6) Shape – round, square, rectangular, etc.
7) Color – red, blue, green, etc.
8) Pattern – striped, spotted, etc.
9) Origin – British, American, Mexican, etc.
10) Material – gold, copper, silk, etc.
11) Qualifier – limiters for compound nouns.
12) Purpose – 'sleeping – bag', 'roasting tin', 'baking dish', etc.
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