Order of adjectives
- 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
- She was wearing an amazing red coat.
- It was made of a strange, green, metallic material.
- It's a long, narrow, plastic brush.
- Panettone is a round, Italian, bread-like Christmas cake.
If we don't want to emphasis any one of the adjectives, the most usual sequence of adjectives is:
|unusual, lovely, beautiful|
|big, small, tall|
|thin, rough, untidy|
|round, square, rectangular|
|young, old, youthful|
|blue, red, pink|
|Dutch, Japanese, Turkish|
|metal, wood, plastic|
|general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped|
|cleaning, hammering, cooking|
- Here are some invented examples of longer adjective phrases. A noun phrase which included all these types would
be extremely rare, e.g.:
- She was a beautiful, tall, thin, young, black-haired Scottish woman.
- What an amazing, little, old, Chinese cup and saucer!
- When more than one adjective occurs after a verb such as “be” (a linking verb), the second last adjective is
normally connected to the last adjective by “and”:
- Home was always a warm, welcoming place. Now it is sad, dark and cold.
- And is less common when more than one adjective comes before the noun (e.g. a warm, welcoming place). However,
we can use and when there are two or more adjectives of the same type, or when the adjectives refer to different
parts of the same thing:
- It was a blue and green cotton shirt.
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