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  1. #1
    lasoracco Guest

    Order of modifiers

    Hello,

    I am teaching my ELL students the order of modifiers and have run into a question I couldn't quite answer.

    Granted the order of adjectives goes as follows:

    size
    an opinion of quality
    age or temperature
    shape
    color
    origin
    material

    Would this sentence be correct?

    A new small black cotton sweater.

    My question pertains to the order in which the word "new" comes in. I would say the above sentence is correct, but if new fits into the age category, the sentence would read as follows:

    A small new black cotton sweater.


    Which ones is correct? is it even relevant?

    Thanks for your help,

    Laura.

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Re: Order of modifiers

    Quote Originally Posted by lasoracco View Post
    Hello,

    Would this sentence be correct?

    A new small black cotton sweater. It looks good to me.

    My question pertains to the order in which the word "new" comes in. I would say the above sentence is correct, but if new fits into the age category, the sentence would read as follows:

    A small new black cotton sweater. I wouldn't say this.

    "small", "black" and "cotton" all directly describe the sweater. "new" doesn't directly describe the sweater, so "new" should not be placed within the group of three. Keep "new" in front of the other three.
    Laura.
    2006

  3. #3
    yuriya's Avatar
    yuriya is offline Member
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    Re: Order of modifiers

    I never realized these: a big old cat but a new compact car. FYI, myself as a learner, direct-indirect criterion may seem a bit arbitrary from person to person, at least it works for me. Thanks 2006!

  4. #4
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Re: Order of modifiers

    [QUOTE=yuriya;602085]I never realized these: a big old cat but a new compact car. FYI, myself as a learner, direct-indirect criterion may seem a bit arbitrary from person to person, at least it works for me. Thanks 2006![/QUOTE

    You're welcome! Maybe "directly" was not the best word to use. Perhaps I should have said that the other three words describe the physical features of the sweater. "new" does not describe its physical features, at least not in the same way.

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    bds51 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Order of modifiers

    Hello Laura,
    Normally, there are not more than 3 adjectives before the noun but if there were, where would you put purpose, nationality, numbers, temperature, and intelligence in your list. Let's say I drive a Ford. I bought it in 2005. It's air-conditioned. It's quiet. It's blue. It's metallic and it was made in China. How would you order of adjectives to describe the car? I drive a ...........

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