When several adjectives are used to modify a noun, they have to be put in a particular order. Here are some important rules for adjective order.
Adjectives of color usually go before adjectives of origin, material and purpose.
- A brown Spanish leather bag (NOT A Spanish brown leather bag) (NOT A leather Spanish brown bag)
The adjectives of size, length and height usually go before other adjectives.
- A round wooden table (NOT A wooden round table)
- A tall, ancient oak-tree (NOT An ancient, tall oak-tree)
Adjectives which express judgment usually come before all others. Examples are: lovely, definite, pure, absolute, perfect, wonderful, silly etc.
- A lovely, long, refreshing drink
Numbers usually go before adjectives
- Six brown chairs (NOT Brown six chairs)
- Ten large eggs (NOT Large ten eggs)
The words first, next and last most often go before one, two, three etc
- The first two attempts (NOT The two first attempts)
When more than one adjective is used to modify a noun, we generally separate the adjectives with commas.
- An expensive, wasteful, thoughtless project
Commas can be dropped between short adjectives.
- A tall, fair, pretty girl (OR A tall fair pretty girl)