Adjective Placement and Order in English Grammar

Adjective Placement and Order in English Grammar

In this lesson, we will learn the place of adjectives in a sentence and where do they appear. We will also learn about the order of different types of adjective

Adjective Placement and Order in English Grammar

Adjective Order

When you want to assign a specific quality or description to a noun, you use an adjective. So what if you want to assign more than one qualities to a noun?
There is actually a specific order in which you can order the adjectives.
It's interesting to know that many native English speakers are not consciously aware of this rule. They just use it naturally.
After this lesson, you can use this rule like a native speaker.

Adjectives

Adjectives describe a noun. They give more information about a person/thing/place etc.
They usually come before a noun or after the verb be.

That baby is cute .

She is a cute baby .

Now, imagine you have a car. And you want to describe it with more than one adjective. For example, you want to say it's red and Italian.
Do we say 'Red Italian car' or 'Italian red car?'

Adjectives: Word Order

The general rule of adjectives before a noun is as follows:

Opinion Size Age Shape Color Origin Material Purpose Noun

Now let's look at an example. Note that it is not very common to use so many adjectives before a noun. This is just an example for you to see how this rule works:

beautiful small new shiny red Italian sports car

fancy big old round brown German wooden musical clock

Opinion

Some adjectives describe a general opinion. We can use these adjectives to describe almost any noun.

  • beautiful
  • lovely
  • nice
  • strange
  • awful

Some adjectives describe a specific opinion. We only use these adjectives to describe particular kinds of noun. For example, people, animals, food etc.

  • delicious
  • tasty
  • comfortable
  • intelligent
  • friendly

Usually you put a general opinion in front of a specific opinion.

a lovely comfortable home

a nice friendly person

Size and Shape

By 'size', we mean how big or small a noun is, for example, big, small, tiny, huge etc. and the height of a noun (tall, short etc.)
By 'shape', we mean the physical quality of a noun (round, oval, triangular etc.) it also includes the weight and length of a noun, for example, long, fat, heavy.

a big fat cat

a small round plastic table

Purpose

By 'purpose' we mean what the noun is used for.

You might also like

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Comparative adjectives are used to compare one noun to another noun. Superlative adjectives are used to compare three or more nouns.

Read more

Adverb Placement and Order

We can put adverbs at the front, in the middle or at the end of a clause. Each can have its own function. We'll also learn about the order of adverbs.

Read more

Types of Adjectives

Adjectives are the most used parts of speech in sentences. There are several types of adjectives according to their uses. Let's get to know them briefly!

Read more

Types of Adverbs

Adverbs give us a description of a verb in a sentence. There are five basic types of adverbs in the English language.

Read more

Intensifiers and Mitigators

Intensifiers and mitigators are two kinds of adverbs of degree. We use them to make words and expressions stronger or weaker.

Read more

Demonstrative Adverbs

In this part you will be learn about demonstrative adverbs, how are they formed, and what kind of demonstrative adverbs does English have.

Read more