Order of the Adjectives

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.”

So Mark Forsyth wrote for the BBC a few years ago. I just wanted to hold on to this insight, as I’d like to test it out for Latin when I have more time this summer.

But thus far, it seems right to me for English: right now, I’m looking at a little orange paperback Greek textbook on my desk, as well as an old broken porcelain coffee mug.


About Uncomely and Broken

I am a classicist in Sewanee, Tennessee.
This entry was posted in England, Language & Etymology. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Order of the Adjectives

  1. timtrue says:

    You’re speaking to the dear large old wonky word geek in me.

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