What Order Do Adjectives Go In?

MIchael Grammar Leave a Comment

Have you seen my dog, Max? He’s a cute, little, black, Boston Terrier. He is a puppy and so he is a wild and energetic little dog. And he is a loyal watchdog too. No matter where I am in the house, he stays by my side.

Today, I want to look at the order of adjectives. As you know, an adjective describes or modifies a noun, and comes before the noun:

  • Max is a black dog. ← Here, black is an adjective and modifies the noun dog.
  • He is a loyal watchdog.

What happens when you want to use two or more adjectives? Well, there are some general rules and guidelines. First of all, the basic order is opinion → fact → noun:

  • Max is a cute, black dog ← Here, cute is an opinion and white is a fact, followed by the noun dog.
  • Casablanca is an interesting, old movie.

When we use more than one fact adjectives, the order is color → origin → material → noun:

  • I have a blue Japanese silk kimono.
  • Jack bought a green nylon ski jacket.

We don’t generally use more than three adjectives in everyday, conversational English. So if you need to describe something using a lot of adjectives, then it’s best to do so using two sentences.

  • I have a blue Japanese silk kimono. It’s a little old and worn, but it’s comfortable.
  • Max is a cute, little, black, Boston Terrier. He’s a bit hyper, too.

Well, I hope you find this to be a useful, interesting English lesson. Remember, you can always feel free to suggest a topic for a lesson here.