Are your adjectives in the right order?


Jean's Writing

Ever wondered why a certain sentence doesn’t work?

You’ve written beautiful adjectives to describe your heroine but the sentence comes off too much. The words trip across your tongue as if your mouth is filled with marbles.

After reading a tweet that went viral, I now understand why this happens.

The adjectives must be in the correct order.

Opinion-size-age-shape-color-origin-material-purpose and last NOUN.

When we talk the words usually flow correctly. We don’t even notice it. But when writing sometimes a word ends up in the wrong place.

What is the tweet that gave me this ah-ha moment?

A tweet by Matthew Anderson. Matthew tweeted a screen shot from a book he was reading.


The excerpt is from The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase.

To read more about Matthew’s tweet and how to write the perfect phrase go to The Daily Buzz link below:

View original post 148 more words

One thought on “Are your adjectives in the right order?

  1. It’s not strictly true to say that adjectives “have” to be in that specific order. There ARE rules about adjectives (some have to come in front of a link verb, others in front of a noun), for clarity of meaning. The meme doing the rounds at the moment offers a customary order and I have seen it presented in places on the web as a rule, but it’s not strictly required – the usual rule is ‘broad to narrow’ and ‘opinion before specifics’. As always the arbiter is clarity of meaning. Personally I’d be concerned if an author started having to list six or eight adjectives in front of a noun, unless it was to be funny.

    Liked by 2 people


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