Describing Places- Adjective Word Order

Level: Intermediate

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: Adjectives and Adverbs

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Describing Places- Adjective Word Order
Work in groups of two or three. Take turns describing an imaginary natural place (each), 
one sentence at a time. Use as many adjectives as you can in each sentence, making 
sure that the adjectives match the noun and that you have the adjectives in the right order.
You can only use each adjective and noun once. When the teacher stops the game, vote 
on which of whose natural places sounds best. 

animal/ wildlife

beach/ coast

bird

campsite

cave

cliff

cottage

desert/ dunes

estuary/ delta

farm

farm house

field/ meadow

forest/ wood/ copse

glacier

harbour/ bay/ port/ gulf

hiking route

hill/ mountain volcano

island/ peninsular

jungle

lake/ pond/ lagoon

lane

mountain range

path

peak/ plateau

plain

rain forest

river/ stream

rock (formation)

scenery/ view

slope

spring

stately home/ mansion/ manor house

tree/ bush/ hedgerow

valley/ canyon

village/ hamlet

waterfall

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016

Ask about any words above which you can’t understand, working together as a class to 
describe those things each time. 

Suggested adjectives for describing natural places
Use any adjectives below which you haven’t used already to describe the places above. 

active

amazing/ impressive/ incredible

ancient

authentic

beautiful/ gorgeous/ stunning

bubbling

charming

colourful

crystal clear

deep

delightful

dramatic

enormous/ huge/ massive

evergreen

exotic

extinct

farflung

fertile

gentle 

golden

granite

green/ emerald-green

historic

holy

iconic

impeccable/ perfect

inaccessible

interesting

large

lazy

mysterious

odd/ strange/ weird/ unusual/ unique

old-fashioned

organic

panoramic

picturesque/ photogenic

pretty

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016

pure

quaint

red

remote/ isolated

roaring

rolling

sandy

scenic

slow moving

snow-capped

sun-drenched

thatched

tiny

traditional

tropical/ semi-tropical

untamed

untouched/ well-preserved

white

wide

wild

wind-swept

world-famous

Ask about any words above which you don’t understand. 

Where there is more than one noun or adjective on one line below, label them with S if 
they have the same meaning or D if they have different meanings. 

Adjective word order grammar presentation
What is the rule for adjective word order?

Do factual adjectives or opinion adjectives go closer to the noun (= later in the sentence)?

Combine some adjectives from above with a noun, see which order seems most natural, 
and check that it matches the rule that you discussed above. 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016

Do the same creating and comparing activity with one (imaginary) city each. 

Suggested things to describe in cities
… quarter/… area/… zone
amusement arcade
amusement park/ theme park
avenue
botanical garden
boutique/ designer shops
bridge
casino
castle/ palace
church/ cathedral/ mosque/ synagogue/ temple/ shrine
cinema/ movie theater 
city walls
clock tower
department store
gate
high-rise building/ skyscraper
house/ mansion
main street/ high street
market/ supermarket
museum/ gallery
night life/ night club
office building
palace
park/ garden/ green space
parliament/ house of representatives/ senate
pavement/ sidewalk
port
riverside/ seafront/ promenade
shopping mall
shopping street
skyline
skyscraper district/ business district
son et lumiere
square
station
statue
suburbs/ outskirts
town centre/ city centre
town hall/ city hall
zoo/ safari park

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016

Suggested adjectives for describing cities
ancient
buzzing/ busy/ crowded
charming
cheap/ reasonable
clean
colourful
compact
cosmopolitan
cutting edge
delightful
exciting
exotic
famous/ infamous
fashionable
historic
holy
large
lively
low-rise
modern
modernist
panoramic
pretty
safe
stylish
traditional
trendy
undiscovered
varied
welcoming/ friendly
world-famous
world-leading

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016