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Thread: Adjective order


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    #1

    Adjective order

    I realize that there is a rule for adjective order, but I came across a tricky question.

    Why do we say beautiful old-fashioned wood floors instead of old-fashioned beautiful wood floors

    Is old-fashioned considered age or opinion? If it's age, that makes sense because age goes after opinion.

    If old-fashioned is considered opinion also, then I heard we are supposed to just choose which one goes first according to what sounds good.

    How am I supposed to teach my students what sounds good if this is the case?

    Someone help!

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    #2

    Re: Adjective order

    An old-fashioned something is not necessarily old. An old-fashioned, say, glass-fronted cabinet that was built last week is not old. Its distinctive mode of construction can be said to be not modern, i.e. showing features that were designed a long time ago. Old-fashioned is an opinion.

    http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzo...mar/adjord.htm

    beautiful old-fashioned wood floors
    old-fashioned beautiful wood floors

    Try to find the answer in the dactyls and anapests, in prosody, in the system of metrics in which I am hopelessly incompetent.

    ladies and getlemen
    gentlemen and ladies

    The reason is one of prosody.

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    #3

    Re: Adjective order

    Quote Originally Posted by lbski14 View Post
    I realize that there is a rule for adjective order, but I came across a tricky question.

    Why do we say beautiful old-fashioned wood floors instead of old-fashioned beautiful wood floors

    Is old-fashioned considered age or opinion? To me it's style, wherever that fits in. If it's age, that makes sense because age goes after opinion.

    If old-fashioned is considered opinion also, then I heard we are supposed to just choose which one goes first according to what sounds good.
    I think "sounds good" is the key.
    How am I supposed to teach my students what sounds good if this is the case? I think the most important word is "beautiful", so I would say it first. "beautiful" is also unlike "old fashioned" and "wood", so it would sound odd between the other two adjectives.

    Someone help!
    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 19-May-2010 at 07:54.

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    #4

    Re: Adjective order

    Hello Ibski14,
    Your feeling is right; beautiful is your opinion and old-fashioned is 'style' and opinion always goes before style. And even if old-fashioned were 'age' ,opinion still goes before age and age goes before style.

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