ORDERING TWO ADJECTIVES
It can get very confusing when more than one adjective comes before a noun. When this happens, there are rules to follow to arrange them in a particular order. Adjectives which describe opinions or attitudes (e.g. wonderful) usually come first, before more neutral, factual ones (e.g. green):
Lots of students get this order wrong because they have not studied the rules that apply.
In this article, we have simplified the rules to follow for you. Here are some things to note:
- There are adjectives that give a general opinion. We can use these adjectives to describe almost any noun: good, bad, nice, excellent
- Some adjectives give a specific opinion. We only use these adjectives to describe particular kinds of noun, for example clever, uncomfortable, delicious, and friendly.
- We usually put a general opinion in front of a specific opinion.
For example: This is a good / wonderful / brilliant / bad / dreadful movie.
- We usually put an opinion adjective in front of a descriptive adjective:
For example: A silly old man.
ORDERING MULTIPLE ADJECTIVES
When a number of adjectives (more than two) are used together, the order depends on the function of the adjective. The usual order is:
- Quantity : A few, four, ten
- Value/opinion : Beautiful, Charming
- Size :Huge, Tiny
- Temperature : Cold, Hot
- Age :15 year old, Old, Young
- Shape : Square, Round, Rectangular
- Colour :Blue, Green, Red, Orange
- Origin: Ghanaian, Togolese
- Material :Wooden, Golden, Glass