Adjectives: Adjectives Word Order - Английский язык с Марией Батхан.

Adjectives: Adjectives Word Order

Adjectives: Adjectives Word Order

Adjectives describe or modify a noun or a pronoun.

Adjectives are usually placed before the word that they define.


It’s the final episode of the TV series.

She’s wearing a velvet skirt today.

She opened the door with shaking hands.


There are situations when we need to place two adjectives before a noun:


There was a good-looking young girl waiting for him in the hall.

Down the street stood a grotesque marble statue, placed there to commemorate the victory of the locals in the Civil War.

As I suddenly saw a faint pale figure hiding behind the curtains, I stumbled upon the chair.


Some of these adjectives describe a general opinion. We can use these adjectives with almost any nouns:


good; bad; amazing; wonderful; brilliant; enjoyable; dreadful; awful, terrible; appalling

He’s told us an amazing/ wonderful/ brilliant story.

We were trapped in a dreadful/ awful/ terrible storm.


Some of the adjectives have a specific meaning, characteristic to particular kinds of nouns:


furniture: comfortable, upholstered, soft, shabby, strong, second-hand

food: tasty, delicious, plain, nourishing, rotten, staple

people: disabled, intelligent, common, middle-class, friendly


We place specific adjectives after adjectives with general meaning:


She’s brought home an awful shabby sofa, claiming that it used to belong to a member of the royal family.

They serve nice nourishing soups in the canteen.

I’ve got acquainted with some wonderful middle-class people next door.


In some cases we need to place more than three adjectives in front of one noun in a sentence. In this case the word order will be the following:


general opinion → specific opinion → size and length → shape and width → age → color → nationality → material


Last summer, we spent two weeks in an ancient medieval Italian castle.

She is a striking young African girl.

He always turns to his disarming gentle big smile when he needs to ask for help.

The dress has been decorated with some cheap thin creamy lace.

In the middle of the dining room stood a dainty round wooden table that had served the family for more than 20 years.


A comma should be placed between two adjectives if they have an equal rank, meaning that you can swap them around without any difference in meaning:


It was a sad, heart-broken, and devastating picture - the kids playing on the ruins of their own house.

It is a dangerous, harmful, and potentially deadly experiment that they are going to conduct in the lab next week.


If adjectives are not equal in their meaning, we don’t need any commas:


It was a long perilous journey to the mountains.

Today we’ve discussed a thrilling short book extract.

The platform has uploaded several absorbing horror films.