Adjectives go like this…

Did you know that adjectives have to go in a specific order in the English language or they just sound plain weird?Image result for elements of eloquence

In 2016 a paragraph from a book “The Elements of Eloquence” by Mark Forsyth went viral:

Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out.

It sounds odd, clunky and just plain wrong if you try and change the order.

The old little French green rectangular whittling silver lovely knife.

Next time you are writing adjectives check the order you write them in. I bet you’ve ordered them without even thinking about it.

Image result for adjective order

6 comments on “Adjectives go like this…

  1. I have to admit, this had never occurred to me! Not that I ever use that many adjectives anyway… 😂

  2. Woah–I had never thought of that. I knew they sounded odd at times (and others not) but hadn’t put that together. Why did I have to wait so long to learn this!!!

  3. Ah yes, I saw that when it went viral. Fascinating.

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