Advanced Grammar

GRAMMAR-BASIC AND INTERMEDIATE

Adjectives order

Sometimes we use two or more adjectives together :

– My parents live in a nice new house

– A dirty old black cat is wandering the streets

A / ‘OPINION’ ADJECTIVES 

    Adjectives like nice and dirty are opinion adjectives.They tell us what you think about somebody or something.

    Opinion adjectives usually go before fact adjectives

B /   ‘FACT’ ADJECTIVES

Adjectives like new, old, black are fact adjectives. They give us factual information about, age and colour.

Sometimes we use two or more fact adjectives. Very often, we put fact adjectives in this order :

1     SIZE  :               How big ?                       Large, small, tiny, enormous

2     AGE   :              How old ?                       New, young, old, ancient

3     SHAPE :            What shape ?                  Square, round, rectangular, flat

4     COLOUR :         What colour ?                 Blue, pink, yellow, crimson

5     ORIGIN :           Where from ?                  English, American, Chinese, French

6     MATERIAL:       What it is made of ?       Plastic, cardboard, glass, wooden

7     PURPOSE :       What it  is used for ?      Racing car, frying pan, rocking chair

Examples :

–        An interesting (opinion ) old (2)  book

–        An ugly (opinion) pink (4 ) plastic (6) ornament

–        A nice (opinion) small (1) African (5) drum

–        A delicious (opinion) round (3) chocolate (6) cake

–        A pair of smart( opinion) brown  (4) leather (6) boots

–        A beautiful (opinion) small (1) white (4) Chinese (5 ) computer

–        A nice (opinion) big (1) old (2) square (3) white (4) French (5) china (6) plate *

*       This last example comes from the BBC site, but we do not usually put more than three adjectives together !

  When there are two colour adjectives, we use and :

–        A big green and yellow hat