Adjectives – Word Order

When we use multiple adjectives to describe the same object, there is a specific order for the adjectives used.  So if you want to talk about a car that you just bought, and you want to say that it is German, expensive and gray, how do you form a sentence that is grammatically correct and easy to understand?

I just bought an expensive, gray, German car.

For native speakers, the word order happens naturally.  For others, think about the category that the adjective describes and you will be able to determine the correct word order.  Here’s a chart to help you:

Normal Word Order of Adjectives

  1. Opinion         –  beautiful, expensive, nice, delicious, extravagant, silly, …
  2. Size                  –  big, little, fat, skinny, tall, short, large, tiny, thick, thin, …
  3. Age                  –  young, old, new, middle-aged, …
  4. Color               – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, black, white,…
  5. Nationality    – American, Chinese, German, Afghani, Australian, …
  6. Material          – wooden, metal, plastic, glass, crystal,
  7. Final Distinguishing Modifier / Type (for comparisons)

 

Try the following exercises to see if you can determine what word order to use for the adjectives:

  • a ___________________________________ sky         blue, bright, summer
  • his _________________________________ door        red, front, metal
  • the _________________________________ job          boring, technical
  • some _______________________________ cats         black, skinny, Persian
  • a pair of ___________________________ shoes          leather, brown, brand-new
  • a dozen ____________________________ eggs           brown, fresh, delicious

 

 

 

 

——-ANSWERS———-

 

 

 

 

 

  • a                     bright, blue, summer              sky
  • his                  red, metal, front                      door
  • the                 boring technical                       job
  • some             skinny, black, Persian             cats
  • a pair of       brand-new, brown, leather    shoes
  • a dozen         delicious, fresh, brown          eggs

 

More Adjective Word Order Practice Exercises:

http://www.learnenglishfeelgood.com/esl_adjectiveorder4.html

http://www.tolearnenglish.com/exercises/exercise-english-2/exercise-english-42493.php

http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/adjectives/order-adjectives

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/410/grammar/adjord1.htm

http://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/139.html

https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/adjectives-order_quiz.htm

http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/adjective-word-order

http://perso.wanadoo.es/autoenglish/gr.adwo.p.htm

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