Adjective Order Before Nouns

Difficulty Level: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


When a native speaker describes a noun he does so in an instinctive manner. For example, "I bought a cute new red car." just sounds more natural than "I bought a new red cute car." While technically they are both correct the former sounds more natural.

In this lesson we will we learn the best-suited order for adjectives when describing a noun.

Follow This Order When Describing Nouns:

Possessive adjective > number > opinion > size > age > color > nationality > material > NOUN

Normally we never use more than a few adjectives to describe a noun but if you were to have that many adjectives follow the above order to sound natural.

Let's look at some examples below to get a better understanding of adjective order.


Incorrect

My gorgeous old three Doberman's are starting to lose their vitality.

Your old little sweet grandmother sure knows how to cook pasta.

I want to buy new shiny big iPhone 7's; Two of them, one for me, and one for my girlfriend.


Correct:

My three gorgeous old Doberman's are starting to lose their vitality.

Your sweet little Italian grandmother sure knows how to cook pasta.

I want to buy two new big shiny iPhone 7's for my girlfriend and I.



Tips:

1.) Don't overthink your adjectives. While the exact order isn't something to stress about, it does always sound more natural to include the amount first, followed by your opinion. The order of the adjectives following amount and opinion are not as important.


Quiz:

Fill in the blanks with the best-suited answer.

  • 1.) I really want to buy a ___ ____ car. (black / new)
  • 2.) ___ beautiful ___ black ___ jacket came in the mail today. (leather / new / my)
  • 3.) Her ___ ___ ___ shoes stink like feet. (big / ugly / old)
  • 4.) I want to get a ___ ___ ___ dress this weekend. (white / cute / new)
  • 5.) He only dates ___ ___ ___ ___ girls. (Korean / young / cute / short)



Questions:

Answer the questions in full sentences and try to use a few adjectives in the correct order in your responses to sound natural.

1.) What kind of women/men are you attracted to?

2.) How would you describe your hometown?

3.) Why did you buy those shoes?

4.) What do you love about your smartphone?

5.) What kind of winter jacket are you planning to buy this winter?

6.) What kind of cafe do you like to study in?

7.) You can't find your car. Describe your car to your friend to help you find it.


Daily Expressions, Phrasal Verbs & Idioms:

1.) "Leaning towards": Means you like one option more than another but you haven't decided yet.

"I don't like Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but lately I'm leaning more towards Donald Trump because I too want to make America great again." "I like both Canon and Nikon but for my next camera I'm leaning towards buying a Nikon."

2.) "Out of commission": Means something is not in service or working.

"We have to take the bus to the concert this weekend because my car is out of commission."




 a collage of pictures related to South Korea.