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Adjective Placement

How To Use Adjectives

Read through the rules, and then do the exercises underneath.

When using more than one adjective to describe a noun place the adjectives in the following order before the noun.

NOTE: We usually use no more than three adjectives preceding a noun.

 

  1. Opinion and general description

    Example: nice, funny, lovely

     

  2. Dimension / Size / Weight

    Example: big, small, heavy

     

  3. Age

    Example: old, new, young, ancient

     

  4. Shape

    Example: round, square, oval

     

  5. Colour

    Example: green, red, blue, black

     

  6. Country of origin

    Example: Italian, Polish, English 

     

  7. Material

    Example: wooden, cotton, woollen, plastic

     

    8. Purpose and power

    Example: walking (socks), tennis (racquet), electric (iron)

Here are some examples of nouns modified with three adjectives in the correct order based on the list above. Notice that the adjectives are not separated by commas.

Exercises

Place the adjectives in the correct order before the noun. When you have decided on the correct order, click on the arrow to see if you have answered correctly.

 

  • eyes green - lovely

     

  • girl skinny - short

     

  • jacket cotton green new

     

  • apple ripe - green - delicious

     

  • jumper woollen - large - black

     

  • flat beautiful - modern - small

     

  • magazine English - strange

     

  • hat cotton - funny - green

 

Here's a rhyme which, if you learn it, might help you remember the order of adjectives!

 

In my nice big flat

There's an old round box

For my green swiss hat

And my woolly walking socks.