Sometimes we use more than one adjective in front of a noun:

He was a nice intelligent young man.
She had a small round black wooden box.

Opinion adjectives:

Some adjectives give a general opinion. We can use these adjectives to describe almost any noun:

 

good bad lovely  strange
beautiful nice brilliant excellent
awful important wonderful nasty

 

Some adjectives give a specific opinion. We only use these adjectives to describe particular kinds of noun:

Food: tasty; delicious
Furniture, buildings: comfortable; uncomfortable
People, animals: clever; intelligent; friendly

We usually put a general opinion in front of a specific opinion:

Nice tasty soup.
A nasty uncomfortable armchair
A lovely intelligent animal

Usually we put an adjective that gives an opinion in front of an adjective that is descriptive:

a nice red dress; a silly old man; those horrible yellow curtains

We often have two adjectives in front of a noun:

a handsome young man; a big black car; that horrible big dog

Sometimes we have three adjectives, but this is unusual:

a nice handsome young man;
a big black American car;
that horrible big fierce dog

It is very unusual to have more than three adjectives.

Adjectives usually come in this order:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
General
opinion
Specific
opinion
Size  Shape Age  Colour Nationality Material

We use some adjectives only after a link verb:

afraid alive alone asleep
content glad  ill ready
sorry sure unable well

Some of the commonest -ed adjectives are normally used only after a link verb:

annoyed;  finished;  bored; pleased; thrilled

We say:

Our teacher was ill.
My uncle was very glad when he heard the news.
The policeman seemed to be very annoyed

but we do not say:

We had an ill teacher.
When he heard the news he was a very glad uncle
He seemed to be a very annoyed policeman

A few adjectives are used only in front of a noun:

north
south
east
west

northern
southern
eastern
western

countless
occasional
lone

eventful
indoor
outdoor

We say:

He lives in the eastern district.
There were countless problems with the new machinery.

but we do not say:

The district he lives in is eastern
The problems with the new machinery were countless.

Try these tasks to improve your adjective ordering.

Task 1

Exercise

Task 2

Exercise

Task 3

Exercise

Task 4

Exercise

 

 

Section: 

Comments

Hello everyone!
Could someone explain to me why the sentence "Tom looked like an afraid rabbit." is not correct?
Thanks in advance.

Hello Malinali,

There is a small group of adjectives, most of which begin with the letter 'a', which are usually only used after link verbs. 'afraid' is one of these adjectives -- examples of others are 'asleep', 'alive', 'alone'. This is indicated in the first entry for 'afraid' in the Cambridge Dictionary -- note how it says '[after verb]'.

You can correct the sentence by using 'scared' instead: 'Tom looked like a scared rabbit'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Now I understand! Thank you very much

Regards!

Even for a native this can be tricky.

hi,
please help me how I can complete task 1? I can not add more than 1 adj in a group.

Hi Daisy April,

To add words to each group first click on the word and then click on the group. However, you need to click on the group itself (which should be coloured grey) not on a word you have already added as this will simply swap the words. The simplest way is to click on the name of the group.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,

Thank you very much for your answer, I completed task 1.

Best wishes,,

Hi
In the following sentences, is 'ahead' an adjective or adverb?

1. The ahead journey is long.
2. The journey ahead is long.

Regards

Hello Adya's,

'Ahead' here is an adjective. 'Ahead' as an adjective always follows the noun so the first sentence is incorrect.

Please note that we do not provide answers for tasks from elsewhere. Unfortunately time does not allow us to help our users with homework or tests!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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