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?
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.
[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')
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".
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.
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
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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