Taken from http://photoeverywhere.co.uk/
By Olga Koliichuk
In English word order is very important. When we describe something we use adjectives. We can describe color, size or any other properties of a noun.
A noun is a part of speech which denotes an object (a person, an animal, etc).
There are some rules that indicate which place each descriptive adjective should have.
First you should put a determiner before your chain of adjectives. Determiners can be a definite/indefinite article (a, the), possessive pronouns (his, my, their) or adverbs (a couple of, several).
For example: a necklace.
Next comes the adjective describing the speaker’s observations: boring, nice, lovely, weird, terrible.
E.g. a lovely necklace.
After that you add its size: tiny, small, little, medium, big, huge, enormous, vast, etc.
E.g. a lovely tiny necklace.
Then you put the shape of the object: round, rectangular, square, shapeless.
E.g. a lovely tiny round necklace.
Now you can add the age if needed: old, new, ancient, contemporary, modern, etc.
E. g. a lovely tiny round new necklace.
Now you can add its color: red, blue, yellow, orange, etc.
E. g. a lovely tiny round new red necklace.
Then you add the origin of the object: Pakistani, British, Ethiopian, Argentinian, Czech, etc.
E.g. a lovely tiny round new red Argentinian necklace.
And finally you put the material of what the object is made of: gold, wood, silver, plastic, silk, copper, etc.
E.g. a lovely tiny round new red Argentinian gold necklace.
Here are some more examples:
My nice small square old blue Mexican wooden souvenir.
They wanted to try a huge blue and green Italian ice-cream.
She was crazy about that smart medium-sized new white and black American silk costume.
Let’s sum up in a table:
|1||Determiner- a, the, his, several, etc||Their curtains|
|2||Observations – lovely, horrible, hilarious.||Their nice curtains|
|3||Size – big, small, huge, etc.||Their nice small curtains|
|4||Shape – square, rectangular, round, etc.||Their nice small round curtains|
|5||Age – new, old, modern, ancient, etc.||Their nice small round old curtains|
|6||Color – red, purple, green, brown, etc.||Their nice small round old brown curtains|
|7||Origin – Japanese, Estonian, Russian, Norwegian, etc.||Their nice small round old brown Norwegian curtains|
|8||Material – gold, silver, silk, etc.||Their nice small round old brown Norwegian silk curtains|
NOTE: In case you want to be a writer: heaping adjectives is usually considered bad style. Don’t use more than two adjectives for the same noun.
Exercise. Put the adjectives into the right order.
- This, French, old, boring, film.
- The, Canadian, yellow, long, scarf.
- An, huge, interesting, English, old, text.
- Peruvian, captivating, a, modern, dance.
- Weird, enormous, a, green, Russian, tree.
- Our, gold, antique, beautiful, ring.
- Medium-sized, orange, his, good-looking, shirt.
- Stylish, black, expensive, computer, your.
- Round, and, square, silver, some, Persian, coins.
- Amazing, white, an, brown, and, Arabian, horse.
Answers: scroll down.
- This boring old French film.
- The long yellow Canadian scarf.
- An interesting huge old English text.
- A captivating modern Peruvian dance.
- A weird enormous green Russian tree.
- Our beautiful antique gold ring.
- His good-looking medium-sized orange shirt.
- Your expensive stylish black computer.
- Some round and square Persian silver coins.
- An amazing white and brown Arabian horse.