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  1. #1
    Mehrgan's Avatar
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    Default What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Hi all,
    May I know what the order of adjectives is when we describe one's hair?

    Is that blonde shoulder-lengh straight hair?



    Thanks.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Hi all,
    May I know what the order of adjectives is when we describe one's hair?

    Is that blonde shoulder-lengh straight hair?



    Thanks.
    For me, 'straight/curly/ etc' come before the colour. I am moderately certain that I usually put the length-word first.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    I agree; in AmE, we tend to use the length of the hair first, followed by the style, then the color:

    "She had long, straight, blonde hair."

    "He had short, wavy, dark brown hair, sort of like George Clooney before he started going grey."

  4. #4
    Mehrgan's Avatar
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    Question Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Thanks to you both!


    Is the word 'grizzled' used in informal English to refer to one's grey hair with wisps of black among them?

  5. #5
    Gentle Nguyen is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Hi Mehrgan,

    I'm not a teacher.

    There are many types of adjective in English. And how to use them in right order is very important.
    So if there is more than one adjective in one sentence, you should use them in the order as follow:

    Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Origin Material Kind of purpose NOUN

    Beautiful big old square green Indian leather walking
    Charming small new oval black Italian wood working

    Regarding your sentence, you can write: she has a shoulder-length straight blonde hair.

    Some examples:
    He buys new small metal chair.
    She is a busy working doctor.
    She is a beautiful tall young Chinese student.

  6. #6
    Ouisch's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Thanks to you both!


    Is the word 'grizzled' used in informal English to refer to one's grey hair with wisps of black among them?
    It is technically correct, but in AmE it is far more common to describe a man's beard as "grizzled" to indicate that it is greying with some black wisps remaining. When referring to a man's head hair that is a mixture of grey and black, we usually describe the color as "salt and pepper."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gentle Nguyen View Post
    Hi Mehrgan,

    I'm not a teacher.

    There are many types of adjective in English. And how to use them in right order is very important.
    So if there is more than one adjective in one sentence, you should use them in the order as follow:

    Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Origin Material Kind of purpose NOUN

    Beautiful big old square green Indian leather walking
    Charming small new oval black Italian wood working

    Regarding your sentence, you can write: she has a shoulder-length straight blonde hair.

    Some examples:
    He buys new small metal chair.
    She is a busy working doctor.
    She is a beautiful tall young Chinese student.
    Thanks. This rings a bell But - particularly if you're not a teacher - a reference would be useful.

    My view is that it does not sound natural to test this rule to its limits, although it works at the level of individual epithets: e.g. 'big red bus' /'red big bus'

    PS Error in quote corrected
    Last edited by BobK; 08-Aug-2011 at 16:11.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ... - a reference would be useful.
    Swann (2005) Practical English Usage - 3rd Edition, Oxford: OUP, page 11:

    description before classification: an old political idea...

    opinion before description: beautiful green mountains...

    order of descriptive words:

    ..........size..... age .....shape .....colour .....origin .....material .....noun
    a ........fat .......old .......................white......................................... horse
    a .....small................. round...... black...................... leather... handbag
    an enormous............ brown................... German..... glass....... mug

    Numbers usuall go before adjectives: six large eggs

    Noun modifiers usually follow adjectives: a big new car factory
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Aug-2011 at 11:55. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: What is the order of adjectives to describe one's hair?

    Please remember to always give a reference/link when quoting things. Copyright laws are very strict and academic custom is to credit sources. Thank you.

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