When you use more than one adjective to describe an object, do you put these int

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  1. MarieLB profile image83
    MarieLBposted 2 years ago

    When you use more than one adjective to describe an object, do you put these into any sort?

    EG:  If you wanted to write - "The big, bad wolf. . ."  would it sound the same if you were to say "The bad, big wolf?"
    Do you think that reading and re-reading will tell you how it should go, or is there a set of rules that
    Should we be categorising adjectives and work out what order they should be in, especially if there are more than two adjectives?

  2. Paul Kuehn profile image94
    Paul Kuehnposted 2 years ago

    According to the British Council, adjectives should come in this order: one, general opinion; two, specific opinion; three, size; four, shape; five, age; six, color; seven, nationality; and eight material.  The following two sentences would be examples of usage: one, I bought a nice comfortable long bed; and two, She likes that old red American wooden table.  I hope this helps.

    1. MarieLB profile image83
      MarieLBposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Very interesting Paul.  Until today, I had no idea that there were so many categories.  I go by what feels right.  Luckily I have read hundreds of good books, so certain things gel in my brain.  It is so much better to follow the correct usage.

  3. alancaster149 profile image84
    alancaster149posted 2 years ago

    [When you write almost every day you take these things for granted] With no access to the British Council in London I reached for a copy of the Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar - it helps to have a set: Oxford Concise Thesaurus, d/o Guide to English Usage. d/o Dictionary of English Grammar and d/o Concise English Dictionary - and lo, on page 11 there's a section titled 'adjective order'. It opens with the sentence: "The order in which two or more adjectives come in attributive position".
    Then you turn the leaf and the 'meat' of the passage is as follows -
    "A typical order is: determiners (if any, i.e. 'your'),
    'central' adjectives ('wonderful, expensive,useful'),
    'colour' adjectives ('cream, red'),
    'inherent characteristics' (things that can't change, i.e. origin, 'English')
    .......................................(material: 'woollen')
    attributive noun (describes purpose, i.e., 'riding jacket').
    All in all, let's put it to use: "Your expensive black leather golfing gloves look good".

    1. MarieLB profile image83
      MarieLBposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Why am I not surprised that you would answer such a question?  It seems to me that it is well known that one needs to categorise and prioritise adjectives, but not everybody agrees on the latter. Thank you Alan.

    2. alancaster149 profile image84
      alancaster149posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      It'll come in handy for others, for those whose first language isn't English. You hear 'English is an easy language'. Well it is and it isn't. One thing it hasn't got is a 'Latinised Grammar' like French and German. The 'bricks & mortar' is Engli

  4. MarieLB profile image83
    MarieLBposted 23 months ago

    To Paul Richard Kuehn (Paul Kuehn)  and to Alan Robert Lancaster (alancaster149)

    Thank you gentlemen.  I certainly cannot argue with all you have said, and I could not presume to know how to choose!

    What I can say with confidence is that it will help us lesser mortals to write better English.  Thank you both.


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