Adjectives in Order

We sometimes use more than one adjective before the noun:

Examples:

• I like big black dogs.

• She was wearing a beautiful long red dress.

 

What is the correct order for two or more adjectives?

1. The general order is: Opinion, Fact.

“Opinion” is what you think about something. “Fact” is what is definitely true about something.

• A nice French car. (not a French nice car)

[You have an opinion that the car is nice; and the fact that it was made in France.]

 

2. The normal order for fact adjectives is size, age, shape, color, material, origin. Other references place ‘age’ after ‘shape’ (just like in the picture). Both references are correct. I prefer OPSHACOM (Opinion, Shape, Age, Color, Origin, Material) because this pattern is easy to remember.

• A big, old, square, black, wooden Chinese table.

Watch this video. Professor Grammar will explain more about OPSHACOM.

 

3. Determiners usually come first, even though they are fact adjectives.

• articles (a, the)

• possessives (my, your…)

• demonstratives (this, that…)

• quantifiers (some, any, few, many…)

• numbers (one, two, three…)

 

Now try this: Arrange these adjectives into a good order.

a – chest – it’s – beautiful – ivory – antique.

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