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Grammar Rules for Order of Adjectives in Sentences

Class 8
May 29, 2023

Let’s revise adjectives.

What is an Adjective?

An adjective is a part of speech that describes or provides more information about a noun or pronoun. Generally, adjectives are found after the verb or before the noun it modifies.

Activity time

Identify the Adjectives in the Following Sentences.

1. My fleece jacket is fluffy and comfortable.

  1. Comfortable
  2. And
  3. Jacket

Ans. a

2. I felt quite anxious watching my sister unwrapping the new bicycle she received for her birthday.

  1. Quite
  2. Anxious
  3. Unwrapping

Ans. b

3. After spinning and spinning, I stopped and felt a bit tiresome.

  1. Spinning
  2. Stopped
  3. Tiresome

Ans. c

4. We sat and watched as the setting sun created a multi-colored sky.

  1. Watched
  2. Setting
  3. Multi-colored

Ans. c


Do you like to depict objects, animals, people, and everything around you? So, you know many adjectives, but are you sure you’re using them in the correct order?

When two or more adjectives are used to describe the same subject or object, there is a particular order in which adjectives must be written.

In this session, we learn about an adjective order that teaches you how to position adjectives effectively in a sentence.

Check out the examples to get a better idea.

What Is the Order of Adjectives?

Adjective order is a set of rules determining which descriptors or determinants should appear when describing a noun. The order of adjectives varies from language to language. For example, in English grammar, adjectives usually come before the noun they modify.


I love that big old green antique car parked at the end of the street.

My friend lost his red-black-and-white watch.

How to Order Adjectives in English

The specific order of adjectives most likely comes intuitively to many native English speakers, but it follows the royal decree of adjectives.

With a few exceptions, the word order goes as follows:

1. Quantity:

Adjectives like “four” and “a few” convey the quantity or number of something.

2. Quality:

Adjectives like “saucy” or “quirky” define the nature or state of the described noun being described.

3. Opinion:

Opinion adjectives, such as “repugnant” or “enjoyable,” may overlap with quality adjectives but usually refer to a judgement or appraisal of the described object.

4. Size:

This group of adjectives describes the size of something, using terms like “enormous” or “seven-foot” to explain anything substantial.

5. Age:

These terms describe a thing’s age. They might be broad, like “ancient,” or particular, like “ten years old,” similar to the size category.

6. Shape:

Shape adjectives may refer to a particular geometric shape (such as “square”) or characteristics of how an object is positioned in space (such as “thin” or “broad”).

7. Color:

Color adjectives, such as “blue” or “pale,” describe a specific color or spectrum that an object exhibit.

8. Appropriate:

Appropriate adjectives, such as “Babylonian” or “Nigerian,” typically indicate a thing’s origin.

9. Material:

Adjectives like “wool” or “steel” describe the material an object is made of.

10. Purpose:

Adjectives with a purpose explain the typical usage of an item, such as “football” in “football shoes.”

Advice on How to Decide the Order of Adjectives

There are a few things you need to take into account when using the adjective order.

There is three advice on how to decide the order of adjectives. They are:

  • Determiners
  • Multiple adjectives in a category
  • Choose adjectives wisely

1. Determiners:

Determiners assist in establishing the specificity of the object you’re describing and are always used before adjectives that modify a noun.


They include articles like “the” or “that,” as well as possessives like mine or our.

2. Multiple Adjectives in a Category:

If your list of descriptors contains more than one adjective from the same category, separate them with “and.” Use commas and the word “and” to separate any adjectives that contain three or more of the same kind.


For instance, “the purple and green sneakers” or “the purple, green, and white sneakers” if they’re even more eye-catching.

3. Choose Adjectives Wisely:

Although it’s possible to describe a noun with ten adjectives, it’s frequently more elegant to select fewer adjectives that better capture the noun’s essence.

Let’s examine them with some examples. 

Once you have established your criteria for the order of adjectives, you can apply any modifiers to a noun as long as you follow the specified sequence.


  1. The five stinky, loud, small two-year-old children.

This sentence includes quantity (five), quality (stinky), opinion (loud), size (small), and age (two-year-old).

  1. Some expensive, enormous, antique blue muscle cars.

This sentence incorporates quantity (some), opinion (expensive), size (enormous), age (antique), color (blue), and purpose (muscle).

  1. A few delicious, two-inch round Italian cookies:

This sentence includes quantity (few), opinion (delicious), size (two-inch), shape (round), and origin (Italian).

Cumulative Adjectives vs Coordinate Adjectives: What Are the Differences?

The correct order of adjectives in English depends primarily on whether the adjectives in question fit into the same category. Cumulative adjectives are adjectives from different descriptive types and must follow the order of adjectives.

For example, in the phrase “the big, red sofa,” “big” and “red” are cumulative adjectives because “big” describes the size of the sofa, and “red” describes the color.

Coordinate adjectives are in the same descriptive category, and you can place them in any order preceding the noun.

For example, the phrase “the oily, cheesy pizza,” “oily” and “cheesy” both describe an opinion about the pizza; therefore, you could consequently place them in any order.

Order of Adjectives in Sentences


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