review: What is an adjective?
In English, it is common to use more than one adjective before a noun — for example, “He’s a silly young man,” or “She’s a smart, energetic woman.”
When you use more than one adjective, you have to put them in the right order, according to type. Listen to this VIDEO LESSON about this topic.
As the video lesson explains, when you are using more than one adjective, put the most definitive adjective closest to the noun. Put the most subjective adjective closest to the article.
If you are not sure what definite and subjective mean, ask yourself:
- “Would several people agree?”
If the answer is “yes”, then the adjective is definitive.
For example, plastic is plastic.
No one is going to say, “No, that’s not plastic. That is wood.”
But, if there could be several opinions, then the adjective is subjective.
For example, if three people look at something blue, they might say:
- Person 1: It’s blue.
- Person 2: That’s not blue, that’s navy.
- Person 3: I think it’s best to just say it is dark blue.
There are many shades of blue and not everyone sees, or describes, colours in the same way.
Confused? Watch the video lesson and then use the following ADJECTIVE ORDER chart to help guide you.
|Order||What does the adjective describe?||examples|
|1||OPINION||beautiful, nice, weird, shiny|
|2||SIZE||big, medium, fat, tall (see also Order 4)|
|3||AGE||old, young, new|
|4||SHAPE||round, square, tall (see also Order 2)|
|5||COLOUR||gold, red, forest green|
|6||ORIGIN||Italian, country, city, Canadian|
|7||MATERIAL||leather, wood, stainless steel|
|8||PURPOSE||travel, cleaning, general-purpose|
(see order: 1, 3, 6) It’s a beautiful old country song.
(see order: 5, 6, 7) She wants red Italian leather boots.
(see order: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8) For Christmas, I would like a shiny, new, tall, gold, stainless steel travel mug.