The Order of Adjectives

Sep 6, 2016 | Literacy

I have just downloaded Mark Forsyth’s book “The Elements of Eloquence” – How to turn the perfect English phrase.

It was with great fascination that I learned that there is an order when using more than one adjective in front of a noun. And here it goes:

opinion – size – age – shape – colour – origin – material – purpose –  NOUN


a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife

and I tried to apply it to explaining our ‘koosh balls’ in that fashion:

wonderful, small new stringy colourful American rubbery juggling balls.


fancy rectangular new soft red Jovi’s non-toxic modelling clay.

I tried to change the order and it just doesn’t sound right. So I believe everyone is instinctively following the correct order – I am quite fascinated.

Maybe try describing a thing or person yourself?


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