The order of adjectives

Where to position adjectives in an English sentence

· Grammar


English respects a specific order of adjectives, and that order is represented by "osascomp". But before we delve into their order, here are a few points to remember:

  1. Adjectives are invariable in that they're singular. We will say "a red car" and also "ten red cars". Never "ten reds cars".
  2. Adjectives come before the noun they qualify: "a happy boy" and not "a boy happy".
  3. Use one or two adjectives, and never more than three. If you use more it becomes less clear what you're trying to say.
  4. Adjectives can be in the plural, 

if the word used as an adjective is already plural itself: "a mathematics teacher", "a logistics expert".

Now back to the order of adjectives.

We have OPINION + FACTS + NOUN, like this...


O: opinion. Incredible or lamentable, etc. [What a magnificent woman!].


S: size. Big or small, etc. [two enormous houses].

A: age. Young or ancient, etc. [An old car].

S: shape. Round or triangular. etc. [A rectangular table].

C: colour. Blue or dark green, etc. [A maroon jacket].

O: origin. French or Sesotho, etc. [A Swedish meal].

M: material. Wooden or plastic, etc. [Those cardboard boxes].

P: purpose. What the noun does. [A sports car].


  1. Look at that new French car! (NOT French, new car)
  2. I want to build a nice, blue wooden chair. (NOT wooden, blue, nice chair)
  3. Most dogs are lovely, intelligent animals. (NOT intelligent, lovely animals)
  4. We have been selling small American cars for years. (NOT American small cars)
  5. We live in a great, quiet, old German neighbourhood. (Four is too many)

Remember, if you don't understand what I have been saying, say "O, ça se complique!"

And if you understand, say "O, ça se comprend!"

Finally, if you are able to correctly put "and" between two adjectives, then you need a comma (,) between them.

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(Bidouillé par Ret)

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