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Adjective order when using two or more adjectives

1 - The usual order of adjectives

A beautiful red French dress. A nasty old English teacher.
In English, it is common to use more than one adjective before a noun for example, "He's a silly young fool," or "She's a smart, energetic woman." When you use more than one adjective, you have to put them in the right order, according to type. This page will explain the different types of adjectives and the correct order for them.

2 - Rules

  1. Opinion adjectives such as beautiful usually go before facts such as large
    1. Eg. A fast big old red Italian car.
  2. If there are two colours they are joined with and
    1. A fast red and white car.
    2. I'm a fast big old red English wooden man
    3. In this room there is a beautiful large round glass window
  3. When there is more than one adjective from a group we make a list of those adjectives using commas and 'and' in the same way as we make any other list.
  4. When there are 2 or more adjectives that are from the same group "and" is placed between the 2 adjectives.
    1. The house is green and red.
    2. The library has old and new books.
  5. When there are 3 or more adjectives from the same adjective group. place a comma between each of the adjectives.
    A comma is not placed between an adjective and the noun.
    1. We live in the big, green, white and red house at the end of the street.
    2. My friend lost a red, black and white dog, if you see it please let me know.

Make sentences using the adjectives in this table

Opinion SizeAgeShape Colour Origin Material purpose
a silly bigyoung square black English paperrocking man
afantastichuge ancient round scarlet Chinese metal colouring bowl
aclumsylittle juneniletriangular greenVietnamese woodensleepingbag

Play the game "Add an adjective". One player starts a sentence with a noun.
For example: "I have a book".
The players then take turns to add one adjective to this sentence.
I have an English book.
I have a new English book.
I have an interesting new English book.
....

The Order

  1. Determiner- a, an, her, five, many, much several etc.
  2. Opinion - pretty, ugly, smart, cheap, Fast, beautiful, fantastic etc.
  3. Size big, tiny, fat, thin, tall, large, small etc.
  4. Shape - circle, square, tall, short etc.
  5. Age - old, young 10 years, a year, a week, new etc.
  6. Colour - yellow, green, pink etc.
  7. Origin - Italian, American, English, Asian, Middle Eastern, African, European, Chinese etc.
    (Note: some of these are plural nouns and some are singular nouns)
  8. Material (made of) - cotton, wooden, plastic, cloth, glass, gold, stone, concrete etc. (Note: What is the difference between metal and metalic?)
  9. purpose/Qualifier - hat box, sleeping bag, computer table,safe island, football field.

3 - Examples

  1. He invited that beautiful young Italian lady to dinner.
  2. Why can't you wear your pink silk summer dress tonight?
  3. The boy needs ten small cotton balls for that activity
  4. I've booked that
    Login please   ____________   X
    table on the corner. (big square)
  5. Mary's husband gave her a
    Login please   ____________   X
    vase. (French porcelain)
  6. He broke Mother's
    Login please   ____________   X
    milk jug. (old green)
  7. My brother wants to meet that
    Login please   ____________   X
    girl. (tall Japanese)
  8. What do you plan to do with these
    Login please   ____________   X
    bottles? (empty wine)
  9. That
    Login please   ____________   X
    woman needs help. (old foreign)
  10. There are two
    Login please   ____________   X
    dresses in her closet. (beautiful red)
  11. Tom never lets his sister drive his
    Login please   ____________   X
    car. (expensive sports)
  12. When travelling to peru, make sure you visit the
    Login please   ____________   X
    ruins. (ancient Inca)
  13. She sells
    Login please   ____________   X
    cookies. (delicious chocolate)
  14. The room was decorated with
    Login please   ____________   X
    balloons. (big red)

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