Adjective order

In this lesson you can learn about adjective order. The exercises for this topic are here. This lesson is part of a complete Upper-Intermediate (B2) English Course. If you are looking for information about -ed & -ing adjective endings, have a look at this lesson about adjectives ending in -ed & -ing.

What are adjectives?

We use adjectives to describe nouns: things, people, places or just about anything you want.

Adjectives go before nouns, but there is a conventional order to adjectives. This isn’t something that native speakers study. It’s just something that we intuitively know. If you use adjectives in a different order, people will probably understand you without any problem, but it may sound a little strange or unnatural.

Adjective Order

The order that we use adjectives in is shown in the table below. Each adjective type has various examples. Below the table you can find some example sentences that use various adjectives in order to describe nouns.

Adjective TypeExamples of the Adjective
Opinion or QualityWonderful, horrible, deluxe, budget, ugly, beautiful, well-made, cheap…
Sizebig, small, huge, massive, tiny…
AgeYoung, old, modern, antique, ancient…
ShapeSquare, round, spherical, triangular…
ColourRed, green, back and white, blue…
PatternChecked, flowery, striped, paisley
OriginItalian, Welsh, Argentinian, Chinese….
MaterialLeather, wooden, plastic, metal

Examples of Adjective Order

The following sentences use various adjectives to describe nouns. the adjectives are ordered according to the table above.

  • A horrible old man.
  • A beautiful flowery dress.
  • An exquisite Italian marble table.
  • A small wooden cabin.
  • A cheap white plastic football.


Check that you understand this topic with the interactive exercises below.

Lesson Content