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Order of Adjectives


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Basics on the topic Order of Adjectives

Adjective Order

Adjectives are used to describe nouns. But oftentimes, you will find more than one possible adjective to describe a noun. So you may ask yourself “what order do adjectives go in?”. There is indeed an order in which you should use adjectives. This text will teach you all about the use of adjectives and their order if they are used in a series.

Revision – Adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe a noun. So, if you want to describe how a noun is, looks, smells, sounds, tastes or feels, you will need adjectives to describe it. The position of adjectives is always close the nouns they describe:

Article Adjective Noun
The green tree

Adjectives may also be connected to the noun via a verb. The sentence below shows an example:

Article Noun Verb Adjective
The tree is green.

The Order of Adjectives in a Sentence

Using more than one adjective means your description is clearer to the reader. When we use several different types of adjectives in a sentence, they have a specific order in which they appear. 25181_SEO_line13.svg

This example includes three adjectives: sleek, new and blue. Categorizing these adjectives helps to display the order of adjectives in sentences:

Category Example
opinion sleek
age new
color blue

There is a general order in which we list adjectives. When writing the order of adjectives in English, using an order of adjectives chart like this will help you answer the question, ‘what order do adjectives go in?’ When you have more than one adjective in an English sentence, this is the order of adjectives you need to keep in mind:


The Order of Adjectives in a Sentence – Example

Now it is your turn. Below is a sentence containing four blank spaces and three adjectives below to fill in the blanks with. The adjectives are the following: old, big, lovely.


What is the correct order of adjectives for this sentence? Using the overview from earlier, we can categorize the given adjectives:

Category Example
opinion lovely
size big
age old

Something being lovely lies in the eye of the beholder. So lovely is an opinion. The tree being big is an expression of size. Lastly, being old is a sign of age. So the correct order of these adjectives in the given sentences is:

  • “This is a lovely, big, old tree.”

Remember to separate the adjectives with a comma if you list multiple adjectives within a sentence.

The Order of Adjectives – Summary

Remember, there is a fixed order in which we use adjectives in the English language. To find out, in which order to use adjectives, you need to sort them into one of these categories from the chart below:

Category Example
number three
opinion friendly
size small
age new
shape round
color green

After the watching the video on the order of adjectives in 4th grade, there are additional interactive exercises, worksheets with answers and more activities for further practice with the order of adjectives.

Transcript Order of Adjectives

Koko and Pip want to decorate their treehouse... and decided to spruce up the place with some artwork. “What should we paint, Koko?” “I think we should paint a landscape with a couple of objects on it.” "Describe what they look like Koko, so I know what to paint!" "Sure! I'll describe the objects using... “Order of Adjectives.” Nouns are people, places, things, and ideas. Examples are a boy, a house, a car, and luck. ADJECTIVES are words we put in FRONT of nouns that describe them to others. More adjectives mean your descriptions are clearer. When we use several different types of adjectives in a sentence, they have a specific order in which they appear. The type of adjective used affects the order of adjectives. First, we give the NUMBER to describe how many there are. Second, we give our OPINION about the noun. Beautiful, scary, and funny are all examples of opinion adjectives. Third, we describe the size of the noun... such as gigantic or tiny. Fourth, we describe the age... as possibly young or old. Fifth, we describe the shape of the noun. Something could be described as crooked or straight... and sixth, we describe the color. There are more adjectives that are used less... and you don't have to use ALL of these adjectives every time. However, it is important to use the order of adjectives when describing things to others! Let's practice putting some adjectives before a noun. Coco and Pip are putting a tree in their painting. We can give several adjectives to describe what the tree should look like. We have FOUR adjectives for the noun, tree. Using the list, let's put them in order. Do we give a number, or tell how many there are? Yes, there is the article, 'a' that describes that there is one tree. Are any of these adjectives an opinion? Yes, lovely is an opinion so, it is listed next. Which of these words describes the size of the tree? Big so put that after lovely. We also described the age and old is listed next. We didn't use all of the adjective categories, so the noun, tree, comes next. This is a lovely, big, old tree. Notice the commas in this sentence. When listing several adjectives we put commas to separate them. We do not put a comma between the last adjective and the noun. Coco and Pip will also paint some doves. Let’s put these adjectives in the correct order to describe what the doves look like. What is the first adjective we should use to describe the doves? The number, three. What adjective should come next? The opinion that the doves are beautiful is next. What kind of adjective is white? White is a color adjective, so it should go after beautiful. The sentence reads, There are three, beautiful, white doves. Before we see Koko's and Pip's paintings, let's review. Remember... ADJECTIVES are words we put in FRONT of nouns that describe them to others. When we use several different types of adjectives in a sentence, they have a specific order in which they appear. The order of adjectives are... number... opinion... size... age... shape... and color. There are some more adjectives that are used less on the list... and you won't use all of these adjectives every time. but, it is important to use this order of adjectives to communicate clearly with others. "Ok, time for the BIG reveal!" "I have painted a happy tree and gave him some friends." That's lovely!"


Order of Adjectives exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Order of Adjectives.
  • Identify the correct order of adjectives


    Here is an example of a sentence with adjectives in the correct order:

    The four, cute, small, young, round, yellow bees flew to their honeycomb.

    Color adjectives are closest to the noun being described.


    The correct order of adjectives is as follows:

    <u>Order of Adjectives:</u> <ol type="1"> <li>Number</li> <li>Opinion</li> <li>Size</li> <li>Age</li> <li>Shape</li> <li>Color</li>


  • Determine the position of an adjective before a noun


    Color adjectives are closest to the noun.

    Articles such as a and the are considered numbers. They help tell how many things are being described.


    <u>Order of Adjectives:</u> <ol type="1"> <li>Number</li> <li>Opinion</li> <li>Size</li> <li>Age</li> <li>Shape</li> <li>Color</li>


  • Identify which sentence has the correct order of adjectives.


    Here is an example sentence with the adjectives in the correct order:

    Bruce is a kind, blue penguin.


    Two friendly, gray, marsupials are hanging out.

    This is correct because the number (two) comes before the opinion (friendly) and the color (gray).

  • Determine which adjectives are correctly placed before a noun.


    Here is a sentence with the correct order of adjectives:

    There are three, large, brown ducks swimming in the pond.

    Adjectives that describe color are always closest to the noun.


    <u>Numbers are highlighted in green.</u> <ul style=“list-style-type:square”> <li>one</li> <li>two</li> </ul>

    <u>Opinions are highlighted in yellow.</u> <ul style=“list-style-type:square”> <li>sleepy</li> <li>soft</li> </ul>

    <u>Sizes are highlighted in blue.</u> <ul style=“list-style-type:square”> <li>large</li></ul>

    <u>Colors are highlighted in pink.</u> <ul style=“list-style-type:square”> <li>green</li> <li>pink</li></ul>

  • Put the adjectives in the order they would appear before the noun


    When ordering adjectives, numbers come first in order.

    The adjective wide can be used to describe size.

    Colors are closest to the noun they describe.


    The picture is describing a fresh, wide, blue river.

  • Complete the paragraph by putting the correct adjectives into each sentence.


    Articles such as "a" and "the" are used as numbers in the order of adjectives.

    Remember, adjectives have a specific order in a sentence.

    The three animals are all best friends.


    Here is the paragraph with the correct answers. Remember, the order of adjectives in a sentence is as follows:

    <u>Order of Adjectives:</u> <ol type="1"> <li>Number</li> <li>Opinion</li> <li>Size</li> <li>Age</li> <li>Shape</li> <li>Color</li>