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Order of Adjectives

Much of the grammar we use on a daily basis is second nature to us; we do it correctly without even thinking about it. One such example is the order we use adjectives when putting two or more together to describe something.

‘A white large hat’ sounds odd and indeed is incorrect, because we should order adjectives so that size comes before colour. ‘A large white hat’ sounds much better.

The order can be explained as:


‘An old Dutch painting’ is correct because the age is placed before the origin. (A Dutch old painting sounds odd.)

The above adjectives are all ‘fact’ adjectives; they tell us more facts about the noun. But there are also ‘opinion’ adjectives which tell us more about what somebody thinks about something or somebody. These ‘opinion’ adjectives usually come before any of the fact adjectives above.

‘An old, lovely villa’ just doesn’t sound right and of course, according to these rules, it should be:

‘A lovely, old villa.’

Work on adjectival clauses and the order of adjectives can be found in our Upper KS2 category, but many more pages on adjectives can be found in both Lower KS2 and KS1.

Go to English: Upper KS2: Grammar: Word Classes

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