As you know, adjectives are words that define the quality of nouns. Adjectives usually come before the noun although there are some exceptions to this standard rule.
But when you have to use to more than one adjective, you should follow the right order for the sentence to make perfect sense.
In this guide, I will share with you some easy-to-remember rules that will help you use the natural order of adjective easily. At the end of this guide, you will also have some adjective word order exercises for fun.
Rules of Natural Order of Adjectives
When you want to use multiple adjective before a noun, the first adjective should be the one that describes opinions or attitudes.
Other adjectives which are more factual or neutral by nature should come thereafter.
For example: “He’s an eminent American writer.”
Please, note that our focus on this sentence is to highlight his fame and popularity rather than his nationality.
Therefore, if we change the order of adjectives and say, “American eminent writer”, it doesn’t sound natural.
Here’s another example: “She’s one of the talented contemporary African American writers.”
When you don’t want to emphasize any particular adjective, play by the rules, and follow the natural order of adjectives.
Here’s a visual cheatsheet for your easy reference:
Adjective Word Order Exercises
Okay, here are some questions if you want to test your understanding of the natural order of adjectives.
Luau is _____ party.
- A traditional Hawaiian beach
- A Hawaiian traditional beach
- A traditional beach Hawaiian
A lei is a garland of _____ flowers and leaves typically worn around the neck.
- Exotic colorful Hawaiian
- Colorful exotic Hawaiian
- Exotic Hawaiian colorful
My favorite _____ shirt was made in China.
- Old black cotton
- Cotton old black
- Black cotton old
At Kuala Lumpur airport, I bought _____ hat.
- A beautiful French red and
- A beautiful red and white
- A French beautiful red and
The students came out of the cathedral in their _____ cloaks and their _____ pinafores.
- Scarlet bright; clean white
- Scarlet bright; white clean
- Bright scarlet; clean white
- Bright scarlet; white clean
A ukulele is a ______ instrument, which resembles a guitar.
- Small Hawaiian musical
- Small musical Hawaiian
- Hawaiian small musical
My grandmother kept her family photos in a _______.
- Black small wooden
- Small black wooden
- Small wooden black
In our new apartment we have some ______ furniture.
- Exotic old Italian
- Italian lovely old
- Old Italian exotic
A traditional Hawaiian beach
Exotic colorful Hawaiian
Old black cotton
A beautiful red and white
Bright scarlet; clean white
Small Hawaiian musical
Small black wooden
Exotic old Italian
Keywords: adjective word order exercises, natural order of adjectives