Order of the adjectives.
When more than one adjective comes before a noun, the adjectives are normally in a particular
order. Adjectives which describe opinions or attitudes (e.g. amazing) usually come first, before
more neutral, factual ones (e.g. red):
She was wearing an amazing red coat.
Not: … red amazing coat
If we don’t want to emphasize any one of the adjectives, the most usual sequence of adjectives
is: order => relating to => examples.
1 => opinion => unusual, lovely, beautiful
2 => size => big, small, tall
3 => physical quality => thin, rough, untidy
4 => shape => round, square, rectangular
5 => age => young, old, youthful
6 => colour => blue, red, pink
7 => origin => Dutch, Japanese, Turkish
8 => material => metal, wood, plastic
9 => type => general-purpose, four-sided, U-shaped
10 => purpose => cleaning, hammering, cooking
It was made of a 1strange, 6green, 8metallic material.
It’s a 4long, 8narrow, 10plastic brush.
Panettone is a 4round, 7Italian, 9bread-like Christmas cake.
Here are some invented examples of longer adjective phrases. A noun phrase which included
all these types would be extremely rare.
She was a 1beautiful, 2tall, 3thin, 5young, 6black-haired, 7Scottish woman.
What an 1amazing, 2little, 5old, 7Chinese cup and saucer!
Adjectives joined by and
When more than one adjective occurs after a verb such as be (a linking verb), the second last
adjective is normally connected to the last adjective by and:
Home was always a warm, welcoming place. Now it is sad, dark and cold.
And is less common when more than one adjective comes before the noun (e.g. a warm,
welcoming place). However, we can use and when there are two or more adjectives of the same
type, or when the adjectives refer to different parts of the same thing:
It was a blue and green cotton shirt.