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The Correct Order of Adjectives in English

 

When you use more than one adjective, you have to put them in the right order or it will sound very strange. Do you say, "I want a big black cat" or "I want a black big cat?" Let's take a look at infographic below.

Grammar Corner The Correct Order of Adjectives in English

 

So, do you say, "I want a big black cat" or "I want a black big cat?"

The first one is correct.

Why?

If "big" is size and "black" is color, then it should come first because size is number (2) and color is number (5) on the infographic above.

You can use this chart for all orders of adjectives. A quick and easy way is to always place the adjective that is easy to change first. Number 1 (Opinion) can be changed more easily than number 6 (Origin: where something is from). It is easy for me to change my opinion of someone, but it is not easy for me to change where they come from. Therefore, place the opinion adjective first.

 

Test yourself!

Put the adjectives in the correct order:

(1) Veronica is a (British / young / tall) singer and songwriter.

(2) I want to buy a (funny / blue) mug for my father for his birthday.

(3) My sister just bought a (red / long / beautiful) dress for herself.

(4) All my students are (smart / young / American) boys.

(5) All I want for Christmas is a pair of  (brown / vintage / Italian / leather) shoes.

(6) My professor always gives (boring / long) lectures.

 

Answers:

(1) Veronica is a tall young British singer and songwriter.

(2) I want to buy a funny blue mug for my father for his birthday.

(3) My sister just bought a beautiful long red dress for herself.

(4) All my students are smart young American boys.

(5) All I want for Christmas is a pair of vintage brown Italian leather shoes.

(6) My professor always gives long boring lectures.

 

 

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