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Adjective word order

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John Frampton is a successful young businessman but if you saw him you wouldn't realise. He always wears an old leather jacket, faded blue jeans and a pair of tan cowboy boots. He drives a black and white Mini to work. John lives in a house just outside Cambridge. It's pretty and small but John would never move. The reason for this is the wine cellar under the house. It's where John keeps his wine collection. That is his passion; Italian wines. In his free time John tours the beautiful Tuscan countryside collecting expensive red wines.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when using more than one adjective:

a successful young businessman
We usually place a fact adjective (successful) before age (young).

an old leather jacket
Age adjectives (old) normally go before material or type (leather).

faded blue jeans
fact adjectives (faded) are normally placed before colour (blue).

a pair of tan cowboy boots
Usually colour adjectives (tan) go before type (cowboy)

a black and white Mini
When using two colours before a noun they are normally separated by ‘and’.

the beautiful Tuscan countryside
Opinion adjectives (beautiful) are usually placed before origin (Tuscan)

expensive red wines
Fact adjectives (expensive) are usually placed in front of colour.

It's pretty and small
When two adjectives have no noun after them then they are separated by ‘and’.

Recently John bought a painting.
It was a beautiful large antique rectangular colourful Italian oil painting.
Adjective order: number - OPINION – SIZE – AGE – SHAPE – COLOUR – ORIGIN/TYPE – MATERIAL - noun.

Lesson by Tristan

Select the right order of adjectives:

  • 1) Lara was wearing a ___ dress.

  • 2) Peter’s moved to a/an ___ flat.

  • 3) My brother has a ___ motorbike.

  • 4) He is a ___ man.

  • 5) We like to visit ___ cities.

  • 6) Dave has got ___ job.

  • 7) She has a ___ bed.

  • 8) It was a ___ day.