When we have more than one adjective before a noun, to sound naturally, these adjectives should go in a specific order.
Two basic principles
There two basic principles we must observe:
- Opinion adjectives are always put before fact adjectives.
- The order of fact adjectives depends on the facts they describe.
The usual order of adjectives is presented below:
- Recently I’ve been to a small German town (size → origin).
- Every fashion-monger should have a small black dress (size → color).
- That’s a lovely young grey kitten (opinion → age → color).
- I have a beautiful French wool sweater (opinion → origin → material).
- Tom is a nice, intelligent young man (general opinion → specific opinion → age).
- My grandmother has an old round wooden table in the country (age → shape → material).
There are some general rules to remember.
1. The most significant adjective should go immediately before the noun:
- He gave me an old grandfather clock.
2. We use ‘and’ where the adjectives are in the same category (or when talking about colors):
- Peter is tall and slim.
- Cool colors such as blue and green have a calming effect.
3. For contrast we use ‘but’:
- The house was charming but rundown.
4. With more than 2 adjectives use ‘and’ before the final one:
- Her dress was green, yellow and orange.
|Note: In English you should not put more than three adjectives in a row before a noun.|
Here’s a good video explaining how to memorize easily the correct order of adjectives: