adjectives: order

Before a noun, we put adjectives in a fixed order. The exact rules are very complicated (and not very well understood). Here are the most important rules:

  • Adjectives of colour, origin (where something comes from), material (what it is made of) and purpose (what it is for) go in that order.
      colour origin material purpose noun
      red Spanish leather riding boots

      a Venetian glass ashtray (NOT a glass Venetian ashtray) a brown German beer-mug (NOT a German brown beer mug)

  • Other adjectives come before colour-adjectives etc.
    Their exact order is too complicated to give rules.
      a big black cat (NOT a black big cat)
      the round glass table (NOT the glass round table)

  • First, last and next usually come before numbers.
      the first three days (NOT the three first days)
      my last two jobs (NOT my two last jobs)