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Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1

1. Adjectives

Adjectives are words that accompany and modify a noun, since they give us information about something or someone. In English, adjectives are usually placed in front of a noun, or after certain verbs (be, look, smell...).
This is a blue towel.
These towels are blue.

2. The order of adjectives in English

When we want to describe the characteristics of an object, person..., we can use one or more adjectives at the same time; in English they have a specific way to put adjectives in the correct order.

Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Pattern Nationality Material Purpose
Nice Big Old Round Pink Plain American Plastic Shopping
Cheap Small New Oval Pale Spotted Italian Leather Typing
Interesting Tall Young Square Tanned Flecked Spanish Iron Sleeping
Gorgerous Thin Modern Flat Silver Flowery Indian Wooden Race
Intelligent Long Ancient Curved Blue Striped French Steel Running
Annoying Short Updated Spherical White Checked Chinese Denim Football
Boring Thick Outdated Straight Yellow Printed English Straw Reading
Great Wide Junior Steep Orange Argyle German Paper Winter
Amazing Narrow Senior Hollow Red Tie-dyed Egyptian Glass Working
This table will serve as a guide, although it is not a closed order, since it can change depending on which adjective we want to emphasize.
She has some cheap new colourful trainers.
Following the table, the order is:
cheap (opinion), new (age) and colourful (colour)
He's a nice young guy.
Following the table, the order is: nice (opinion) and young (age)

3. Comments

  • Usually between one and three adjectives are used, it is not very common to use more.
    She is wearing a gorgerous pink silk dress.
    It is a reusable shopping bag.
  • When two adjectives of the same category are used, the order is decided by the speaker. And although in general no comma is put between adjectives, when they are of the same category they have to be separated by a comma, or by the particle and.
    This is my lovelyintelligent dog.
    She's got red and blue hair.

Remember!

When we want to use two or more adjectives to describe something we follow this order:
Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Pattern Nationality Material Purpose
Nice Big Old Round Pink Plain American Plastic Shopping
Cheap Small New Oval Pale Spotted Italian Leather Typing
Interesting Tall Young Square Tanned Flecked Spanish Iron Sleeping
She was wearing an expensive diamond engagement ring.
It is an old black and white film.

 

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