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Search adjectives by letter: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


The Order of Adjectives in a Series

The order in which adjectives in a series sort themselves out is perplexing for people learning English as a second language. There is, however, a pattern. It is definitely important to learn the pattern of adjective order if it is not part of what you naturally bring to the language.

Generally, the adjective order in English is:

1. quantity or number
2. quality or opinion
3. size
4. age
5. shape
6. color
7. proper adjective (often nationality, other place of origin, or material)
8. purpose or qualifier

* quantity - few, no, one, two, three, four, several, many, all, some, every, each
* opinion - good, better, best, bad, worse, worst, mediocre, awful, fantastic, pretty, ugly, clean, dirty, wasteful, difficult, comfortable, valuable, worthless, useful, useless, important, evil, angelic, rare, scarce, poor, rich, lovely, disgusting, amazing, surprising, loathesome, unusual, usual, pointless
* personality/emotion - happy, sad, excited, scared, frightened, outgoing, funny, sad, zany, grumpy, cheerful, jolly, carefree, quick-witted, blissful, lonely, elated
* sound - loud, soft, silent, vociferous, screaming, shouting, thunderous, blaring, quiet, noisy, talkative, rowdy, deafening, faint, muffled, mute, speechless, whispered, hushed
* taste - sweet, sour, acidic, bitter, salty, tasty, delicious, savory, delectable, yummy, bland, tasteless, palatable, yummy, luscious, appetizing, tasteless, spicy, watery
* touch - hard, soft, silky, velvety, bumpy, smooth, grainy, coarse, pitted, irregular, scaly, polished, glossy, lumpy, wiry, scratchy, rough, glassy
* size, weight - heavy, light, big, small, tiny, tall, short, fat, thin, slender, willowy, lean, svelte, scrawny, skeletal, underweight, lanky, wide, enormous, huge, vast, great, gigantic, monstrous, mountainous, jumbo, wee, dense, weighty, slim, trim, hulking, hefty, giant, plump, tubby, obese, portly
* smell - perfumed, acrid, putrid, burnt, smelly, reeking, noxious, pungent, aromatic, fragrant, scented, musty, sweet-smelling,...
* speed - quick, fast, slow, speeding, rushing, bustling, rapid, snappy, whirlwind, swift, hasty, prompt, brief
* temperature - hot, cold, freezing, icy, frigid, sweltering, wintry, frosty, frozen, nippy, chilly, sizzling, scalding, burning, feverish, fiery, steaming
* age - young, old, baby, babyish, teenage, ancient, antique, old-fashioned, youthful, elderly, mature, adolescent, infantile, bygone, recent, modern
* distance - short, long, far, distant, nearby, close, faraway, outlying, remote, far-flung, neighboring, handy
* shape - round, circular, square, triangular, oval, sleek, blobby, flat, rotund, globular, spherical, wavy, straight, cylindrical, oblong, elliptical, zigzag, squiggly, crooked, winding, serpentine, warped, distorted
* miscellaneous qualities- full, empty, wet, dry, open, closed , ornate
* brightness - light, dark, bright, shadowy, drab, radiant, shining, pale, dull, glowing, shimmering, luminous, gleaming
* color - pink, red, orange, yellowish, dark-green, blue, purple, black, white, gray, brown, tanned, pastel
* time - early, late, morning, night, evening, everlasting, initial, first, last, overdue, belated, long-term, delayed, punctual
* origin/location - lunar, northern, oceanic, polar, equatorial, Floridian, American, Spanish, Canadian, Mexican, French, Irish, English, Australian
* material - glass, wooden, cloth, concrete, fabric, cotton, plastic, leather, ceramic, china, metal, steel
* purpose - folding, swinging, work, racing, cooking, sleeping, dance, rolling, walking


Examples:

I want to buy a beautiful, new, blue, European car.