The Order of Adjectives: A Guide to Proper Adjective Placement

When using multiple adjectives before a noun, it is important to follow a specific order. Adjectives that describe opinions or attitudes should come before more neutral, factual ones.

Order and Examples:

1. Opinion: unusual, lovely, beautiful

2. Size: big, small, tall

3. Physical quality: thin, rough, untidy

4. Shape: round, square, rectangular

5. Age: young, old, youthful

6. Colour: blue, red, pink

7. Origin: Dutch, Japanese, Turkish

8. Material: metal, wood, plastic

9. Type: general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped

10. Purpose: cleaning, hammering, cooking

Examples:

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.

Here are some invented examples of longer adjective phrases:

She was a beautiful, tall, thin, young, black-haired, Scottish woman.

What an amazing, little, old, Chinese cup and saucer!

Adjectives Joined by "and":

When using more than one adjective after a linking verb like "be," the second-to-last adjective is usually connected to the last adjective with "and":

Home was always a warm, welcoming place. Now it is sad, dark and cold.

"And" is less common when multiple adjectives come before the noun. However, it can be used 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.

Grammar Lab
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