Adjective Order In EnglishsteemCreated with Sketch.

in language •  7 months ago 

When multiple adjectives describe a noun they appear in a certain order in grammatically correct English sentences. If you are a native speaker of English, you always put your adjectives in the correct order but you may not be able to teach any learner of English why adjectives are ordered in the way they are. It is useful for anyone who learns English as a second language to pay attention to how different categories of adjectives are ordered:

  • Quantity or number.
  • Quality or opinion.
  • Size.
  • Age.
  • Shape.
  • Color.
  • Proper adjective (often nationality, other place of origin, or material)
  • Purpose or qualifier.

Example sentences:

  • Benny Hill's characters are often dirty old men.
  • Five large red apples had fallen from the tree.
  • One evil little old skinny pale English gentleman terrorizes the galaxy in Star Wars.

I rarely make mistakes in adjective order when I write or speak English but that's because I've been exposed to enough repetition. Repetition is really the mother of all learning, particularly in languages. Does your native tongue have a similar rule? I haven't given it much thought but I think much more variation is allowed in mine (Finnish) to allow the speaker to emphasize different aspects of the noun.

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No, in Russian you can use any word order.


1&3 examples are different but they seem to be alike. No?

Yeah, "old" (a description of age) is in both as well as "man", only as part of "gentleman" in #3. #3 is quite artificial because no one would normally use such a long litany of adjectives in a single sentence. :D

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