On Learning Technology

Personal journal and portfolio of Harry Kalantzis.

Adjectives in Order

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.

I am not a native of speaker of English — I have been studying English, though, since I was in Year 2 and I learnt about this while I was still in primary school. The order is debatable, but it turns out that native speakers have no idea why they are using it.

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