Ordering Adjectives

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Is There a Specific Order to Adjectives?

To put it simply...YES. Native speakers often don’t realize it, but there is a certain way to order adjectives within a sentence. Beginning with a determiner, the adjectives are then arranged in the following order:

Type of Adjective Explanation Example
QuantityNumber; how many?many, few, twelve
Opinionwhat you think about somethingugly, pretty, goofy
SizeHow big or smalltiny, miniscule, enormous
ShapeDescribes the shapesquare, round, triangular
AgeTells how oldnew, young, old, ancient
ColorTells what colorgrey, blue, faded, shiny
OriginWhere it’s fromEnglish, Australian, Moroccan
MaterialWhat it’s made ofgold, metal, paper, wooden
PurposeWhat it’s used for; part of the nounroasting pan, writing desk, sleeping bag

For example…

- The ugly round faded English tweed hat sits atop the man’s head.

- An awful huge shiny Australian bug crawled into our tent.

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