Adjectives: Word order

Adjectives: Word order

Adjectives usually appear before the noun or pronoun that they are modifying. When this is the case there is an order in which the different categories of adjective are placed in the sentence. This order is as follows:

  • opinion
  • size
  • age
  • shape
  • colour
  • origin
  • material
  • purpose

Below are some examples of this word order.

opinion size age shape colour origin material purpose (noun)
magnificent old Arabian ...statue
long bronze ...sword
beautiful antique Egyptian ...plate
huge silver hunting ...gun
delicious vintage Spanish
stunning tall slim Brazilian ...model
large black guard


If an adjective is modifying an indefinite pronoun such as somebody, someone, anything etc. the adjective follows the pronoun:

“He didn’t meet anyone interesting at the conference.”


Exercise: Put the adjectives in the correct order in the following sentences

  1. Anna bought a  [ golden - small ] picture frame from the antique stall in the market.
  2. Mark saw a [ Italian - famous ] footballer when he visited Rome.
  3. Have you seen my [ brown -walking ] boots? I can't find them anywhere.
  4. I have ordered a [ large - Persian - red ] rug which will arrive next week.


You can post your answers in the comments below or email me directly. If you would like to know more about adjectives, have any questions regarding the English language or would like to arrange a free trial lesson, you can contact me here or send an email to

Well done to everyone who correctly completed the exercises in the last blog.

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