Ariestess (ariestess) wrote in fandom_grammar,
Ariestess
ariestess
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ANSWER: Is adjective order important?

Hello again, fellow grammarians! Today we're going to tackle the question "Is adjective order important?" with the generous help of our friends over at Once Upon a Time.

So is there actually a proper order to the adjectives in your sentence? Turns out, the answer is yes! The easiest way to say it is to put the more general opinion adjectives before the more specifically descriptive ones. But what constitutes a specific adjective and what's so important about the ordering of them? While there is a sequence, the debate on the order and specificity of the adjectives can be seen as a bit contentious.

Let's check out this list of the standard order for adjectives, with a couple of examples of each.

University of Victoria ELC
  1. quantity or number [five, many]
  2. quality or opinion [nice, ugly]
  3. size [big, tiny]
  4. age or period [old, newborn, ancient]
  5. shape [round, square]
  6. color [red, green]
  7. proper adjective [Italian, Pleiostocene]
  8. purpose or qualifier [sleeping, sunning]
Woodward English
  1. opinion [nice, ugly]
  2. size [big, tiny]
  3. shape [round, square]
  4. condition [broken, brand new]
  5. age [old, newborn, ancient]
  6. color [red, green]
  7. pattern [striped, paisley]
  8. origin [Italian, Greek]
  9. material [plastic, cotton]
  10. purpose [sleeping, sunning]


As you can see by the two lists, the order of your adjectives can be quite specific. Now let's see if we can work out how this will look in a sentence or two.

WRONG: The Evil Queen wore an ancient, red, ugly hat with her riding outfit.
RIGHT: The Evil Queen wore an ugly, ancient, red hat with her riding outfit.

WRONG: They were the tiniest, smelliest, old, seven men she'd ever met.
RIGHT: They were seven of the smelliest, tiniest, old men she'd ever met.


In the end, just remember to order your adjectives from general opinion toward the more specific descriptors.




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Tags: !answer, author:ariestess, pos:adjectives, style
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