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    #1

    An adjective to an adjective

    Letís assume we have a term say Uniform Resource Locator. How does a native speaker tell if it actually means a locator of a uniform resource or a uniform locator of a resource? Is there a rule or logic defining the order of understanding the order and connection for a few nouns going one after another?

    Thanks you in advance.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: An adjective to an adjective

    I can't think of a rule. It's usually either obvious, or easy to work out from the context, or you have to ask someone.

    PS: Or most often, it doesn't matter.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: An adjective to an adjective

    Good question!

    You often can't tell, and it's the source of many jokes. Is a tiny men's shop a tiny shop for men or a shop for tiny men? Is a green hotdog stand a green stand that sells hotdogs or a stand that sells green hotdogs?

    But there are rules for ordering adjectives. Any native speaker can take these words:

    - Ford
    - blue
    - shiny
    - powder
    - '62
    - wagon
    - station

    ... and put them in the correct order: shiny powder blue '62 Ford station wagon.

    Most native speakers aren't even aware that they're following any rules. Some people know rules exist but don't know what they are or think about them because they come naturally.

    Here are two websites that approach the rules in different ways:

    Order of adjectives 1

    Order of adjectives 2
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 07-May-2015 at 01:13.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #4

    Re: An adjective to an adjective

    Thank you, guys.

    As for the order, yes, the rule as I know it is of 9 parts: determiner, opinion, size, shape, age, colour, origin, material, qualifier (purpose). But it was fun to learn that native speakers also have to think what was actually meant e.g. in this case of a green hotdog stand. In Russian we almost never have this problem due to helpful inflexions and any misinterpreting would be caused by the speaker's mistake while in English is seems to be a common thing.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: An adjective to an adjective

    I can't imagine any NES confusing the meaning of "green hotdog stand".

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: An adjective to an adjective

    No, indeed! What's a NES?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: An adjective to an adjective

    NES = native English speaker.

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