We use an adjective to describe something (a noun) or someone (a person). But sometimes we use more than one adjective in front of a noun this is called a sequence of adjectives.
Adjectives sometimes appear after the verb to be verbs
- He is tall.
Adjectives sometimes appear before a noun.
- I have a red car.
When we use more than one adjective before a noun, there’s a certain order that we follow.
- I have bought a new white lovely. ( Incorrect order)
- I have bought a lovely new white bookcase. ( Natural order)
To use adjectives in natural order before a noun follow the rules below.
Sequence Of Adjectives
- Noun modifier/purpose
- Some comfortable black sleeping bags.
- Four small round wooden tables.
- The playroom has a small round plastic table.
Opinion: Explains what we think about something. This is usually our opinion, attitude or observations. These adjectives almost always come before all other adjectives.
- Beautiful, boring, stupid, delicious, useful, lovely, comfortable etc.
Size: Tells us how big or small something is.
- Big, small, tall, huge, tiny etc.
Age: Tells us how old someone or something is.
- Old, young, new, ancient, antique etc.
Shape / Weight / Length: Tells us about the shape of something or how long or short it is. It can also refer to the weight of someone or something.
- Round, square, circular, skinny, fat, heavy, straight, long, short etc.
Origin: Tells us where something is from.
- Pakistani, British, Italian, Eastern, Australian, American etc.
Color: The color or approximate color of something.
- Green, white, blue, reddish, purple etc.
Material: What is the thing made of or constructed of?
- Gold, wooden, silk, paper, synthetic, cotton, woolen etc.
Noun modifier/Purpose/Use: Noun modifier describes another noun and behaves like an adjective. These adjectives often end in –ing.
Desk (lamp), floor (lamp), English (teacher), sleeping (bag), gardening (gloves), shopping (bag), wedding (dress).
Remember: before the adjectives you will normally have the Determiner.
Determiner: The determiner tells us if the noun is singular or plural, definite or indefinite, and then we have the adjectives that refer to OSASCOMN.
- A, an, the, my, your, four, those, some etc.
Note: Most of the people follow this order, but there will be exceptions!
- 1st person: “Beautiful large square rug.”
- 2nd person: “Big, ugly rug.” (2nd person wishes to emphasize size)
Some of the English speakers don’t follow the sequence of adjectives, but if you are taking any English test, you have to learn and work on orders of adjectives.