As native speakers, of any language, we don’t always know specific rules for why things are the way they are with language, but we just ‘know’ instinctively. The order of adjectives in English is one of those types of rules. If you have an English friend, try asking them if they know the actual order that adjectives should be in in a typical sentence in the English language. I can bet they wont know (unless they happen to be English teachers!).
Look at my cat on the right and then the three sentences I have prepared. Only one of them has the adjectives in the correct order, can you spot which one?
- The grey, fluffy, small cat
- The fluffy, small, grey cat
- The small, grey, fluffy cat
To help you work out the sentence with the correct order here is some information to help you.
- OPINION e.g. beautiful, ugly, nice
- SIZE e.g. enormous, large, tiny
- AGE e.g. old, young, new
- SHAPE e.g. triangular, round, square
- COLOUR e.g. pink, green, yellow
- ORIGIN e.g. American, British, Chinese
- MATERIAL e.g. leathery, wooden, metallic
- PURPOSE e.g. walking-stick, ballet shoe (What TYPE of stick? What TYPE of shoe?)
Now do you see which of my sentences is correct?
English adjectives is a very big topic, so I’ll be breaking it down into smaller posts like this one. So make sure you keep checking in or better still, subscribe and get an email when I put new posts up. If you found this post useful or helpful then please share it with absolutely everyone you’ve ever met! LOL