• The Order of Adjectives
  • anonym
  • 30.06.2020
  • Englisch
  • C1, C2
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The Order of Ad­jec­ti­ves

The order of ad­jec­ti­ves in a se­ries is pro­ba­b­ly not the first topic that comes to mind when we think about wor­king on per­fec­ting our Eng­lish gram­mar. Ne­ver­the­less, it is an im­portant part of achie­ving the ul­ti­ma­te goal that is ma­king our Eng­lish sound as na­tu­ral as pos­si­ble. For some, it may al­rea­dy be se­cond na­tu­re to put ad­jec­ti­ves in the cor­rect order; for others, mul­ti­ple ad­jec­ti­ves in a se­ries might still look stran­ge be­cau­se the order does not fol­low the pat­tern used in Eng­lish. As al­ways, there are a lot of ex­cep­ti­ons to the rule. But first, let's take a look at the ge­ne­ral order!

1. De­ter­mi­ners

--> ar­ti­cles/ quan­ti­fiers/ other li­mi­t­ers: a(n), the, four, that,      some, 15

2. Ob­ser­va­ti­on

--> ad­jec­ti­ves sub­ject to sub­jec­ti­ve me­asu­re: hor­ri­ble,          gor­ge­ous, in­cre­di­ble

3. Size

--> ad­jec­ti­ves sub­ject to ob­jec­ti­ve me­asu­re: large, small,      big

4. Shape

--> ad­jec­ti­ves sub­ject to ob­jec­ti­ve me­asu­re: round, oval,          squa­re

5. Age

--> young, old, an­cient

6. Color

--> red, blue, green

7. Ori­gin

--> Chi­ne­se, Rus­si­an, Ger­man

8. Ma­te­ri­al

--> gold, woo­den, glass

Punc­tua­ti­on!

Coor­di­na­ted ad­jec­ti­ves are ad­jec­ti­ves be­lon­ging to the same class. Se­pa­ra­te them with a comma.

E.g. "a gor­ge­ous, in­cre­di­ble woman"

1
De­ci­de which ca­te­go­ry each of the fol­lo­wing ad­jec­ti­ves be­longs to. Write down the cor­rect ca­te­go­ry num­ber (1-8) in the bra­ckets be­hind the ad­jec­ti­ves.

  • You can make use of the ad­jec­ti­ves below:

- red (    )

- an­tique (    )

- litt­le (    )

- plastic (    )

- straight (    )

- Ame­ri­can (    )

- fa­s­ci­na­ting (    )

- young (    )

- my (    )

- Irish (    )

- de­li­cious (    )

- gi­gan­tic (    )

- 17 (    )

- pur­ple (    )

- cot­ton (    )

- rec­tan­gu­lar (    )

2
We usual­ly don't use more than three ad­jec­ti­ves in a row. Think of de­scrip­ti­ve sen­ten­ces using at least two ad­jec­ti­ves at a time. You get bonus points if your sen­ten­ces tell a story.
  • Feel free to use the ad­jec­ti­ves from the pre­vious exer­cise and add your own. Here are some more sug­ges­ti­ons:

- be­au­ti­ful

- mi­ra­cu­lous

- Ba­li­ne­se

- woo­den

- beige

- those

- tri­vi­al

- grace­ful

- thin

- ri­di­cu­lous

- round

- sil­ver

- croo­ked

- mi­nis­cu­le

- gru­e­so­me