Are your adjectives in the right order?

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:

Do You Know This Crucial Piece of English Language Advice? by ALAN  JUDE  RYLAND


               The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase by [Forsyth, Mark]

Have you ever encountered a problem with the order of adjectives?

Have you read either book?

What do you think about this rule? Does it make sense? 

I’d love to hear from you! Click the “write me” tab or contact me on Twitter @jeancogdell,Facebook at jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! The lights are on, and I’m waiting.

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23 thoughts on “Are your adjectives in the right order?

  1. Jean, so much of the rules that revolve around the English language are subjective. We use so many languages within it. We need to use common sense quite often to decide how a passage should read rather than using the style book. Yes, when writing adjectives, the order can get jumbled, but if we just read the passage out loud, we’ll find our mistake. As to the order of adjectives being a rule?… I don’t think I’ll refer to it as that. In all the English classes I’ve taken, it’s never been mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With overuse of adjectives being frowned upon at present, it’s unlikely anyone would pile them on to the max, where order would be an issue. But in situations where multiple adjectives are appropriate, this is certainly something to consider, and an interesting thing in itself. Thanks for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

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