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Thread: Adjective Order

  1. #1
    crazyaboutenglish is offline Junior Member
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    Default Adjective Order

    Hi,

    Can anyone please help me with adjective order for example, which comes first "fat" or "young"? I can't decide if "fat" is size of shape? "The friendly fat young man". OR "The friendly young fat man."

    Also, am I correct that the next two sentences don't have any order and that I need to put a comma between the adjectives?

    "A horrible, greedy businessman."
    "A gorgeous green-eyed, black-haired girl."

    THANK YOU!

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    grammar girl is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyaboutenglish View Post
    Hi,

    Can anyone please help me with adjective order for example, which comes first "fat" or "young"? I can't decide if "fat" is size of shape? "The friendly fat young man". OR "The friendly young fat man."

    Also, am I correct that the next two sentences don't have any order and that I need to put a comma between the adjectives?

    "A horrible, greedy businessman."
    "A gorgeous green-eyed, black-haired girl."

    THANK YOU!
    Hi crazyaboutenglish

    Adjectives are classed as :1) fact adjectives and 2) opinion adjectives.
    Fact adjectives give us factual information about age,size, colour etc.
    Long/short; young/old;hot/cold are fact adj.
    On the other hand, beautiful/ugly;interesting/boring, are opinion adjectives.
    Opinion adjectives go before fact ones.
    When we use two or more fact adjectives like in your first case, we often,but not always, set them in this order:
    1) how big? 2) how old? 3) what colour? 4) where from? 5) what is it made of?
    So it would be correct to say: friendly fat young man.
    Fat/round/thin/slim/wide are shape and width adjectives, while big/small/tall/short/long are size and length adjectives.
    I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    crazyaboutenglish is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    Hi Grammar Girl, it does help thank you. Can you help with the second part of my doubt?

  4. #4
    grammar girl is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    You're welcome.
    When you use two or more adj. of the same category it is necessary to use a comma, on the other hand when you use adj. that belong to different categories,you don't.
    Horrible and greedly are opinion adjectives and you correctly used coma (because they belong to the same category).
    Gorgeous is opinion adj, while green-eyed and black-haired are both fact adjectives and again you were right not to use coma between the first two and to use between the two last ones.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 14-Dec-2012 at 22:40. Reason: fixed small typo

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    crazyaboutenglish is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    Thanks again Grammar Girl now I understand.

  6. #6
    grammar girl is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    You're welcome!

  7. #7
    crazyaboutenglish is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    This is my last question I promise. Does it matter if it is "A horrible, greedy businessman." or "A greedy, horrible businessman"?

  8. #8
    grammar girl is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    No it doesn't matter, although I'd rather use the second one.

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    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    Quote Originally Posted by grammar girl View Post
    You're welcome.
    When you use two or more adj. of the same category it is necessary to use a comma, on the other hand when you use adj. that belong to different categories,you don't.
    Horrible and greedly are opinion adjectives and you correctly used coma (because they belong to the same category).
    Gorgeous is opinion adj, while green-eyed and black-haired are both fact adjectives and again you were right not to use coma between the first two and to use between the two last ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post


    "The British education system is very flexible in order to provide for the needs of a modern, complex society."
    More: BBC Learning English | News about Britain

    Can I replace comma with conjunction and? This site says "Rule 2: Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the word and can be inserted between them."

    Thank you, grammar girl, so very much for helping others understand English.This is the first time I have seen such explanation that deserves to be taken into consideration. As you see in my quotation that we can use comma instead of the connected word "and" when there is a room for "and" to be inserted. In a nutshell, do "modern and complex" belong to the same category?

    PS: I have posted my comment on this thread because they (my comment and this thread) are very closely related.


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    crazyaboutenglish is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Adjective Order

    Thank you very much Grammar Girl and Odessa Dawn, my English is getting better thanks to people like you.

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