Adjective word order

Adjective word order can be confusing. But thankfully, there are very specific rules to help you.

The noun is the very last word, so allllll of the adjectives would go before the noun but we would never use more than a few adjectives at a time. There is an order but maybe you don’t have an opinion on something or you don’t know the age or material or you don’t know what the pattern is called…so all of those you would omit.

The order is as follows:

  1. opinion-ugly, beautiful, lovely, hideous, etc.
  2. size-small, large, etc
  3. shape- thin, long, wide, etc
  4. condition-dirty, clean, wrinkled, stained, etc
  5. age-old, ancient, etc.
  6. color-red, yellow, blue, etc
  7. pattern-solid (color), (pin) striped, plaid, polka dot, lace, etc
    1. Look below for examples of these patterns
  8. origin-American, British, Arabic, Turkish, etc
  9. material-wood, gold, plastic, ceramic, cotton, etc
  10. purpose-sleeping, coffee, party, etc
  11. +++ the NOUN!

For example, we can say I am wearing an ugly, long, wrinkled, old, yellow and red striped cotton, party dress.

Or, I am drinking from a lovely, large, clean, old, blue, ceramic coffee mug.

Now, we very rarely, if ever, use that many adjectives but there is a definite order if we do.

Take this 5 question quiz!

Adjective order


Examples of patterns, in order of appearance:

  1. (black) lace 2. (blue, black and white) plaid 3. (blue and white) pinstriped, 4. polka dot 5. solid (color) 6. striped

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