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    chrysanthemum is offline Member
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    Default order of adjectives

    I have studied the order of adjectives. But sometimes we have two adjectives that refer to the same category. Why do we say "a total, compelete idiot" not "a complete, total idiot"? Or "old, delapitaded houses" not "delapidated, old houses"?
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    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: order of adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by chrysanthemum View Post
    1. Why do we say "a total, compelete idiot" not "a complete, total idiot"? 2. Or "old, deilapitdadted houses" not "deilapidated, old houses"?
    1. Either order is possible, though I feel that 'complete' is usually placed first; we sometimes put 'and' between the two adjectives.
    2. It is possible that we subconsciously think of 'old house' as being more of a classification than 'dilapidated house'; if that is so, it would explain why the descriptive 'dilapidated' comes first.

    Don't forget that there are no absolute 'rules' about the order of adjectives, just observations on what usually happens.

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