How simple it would be if we had a rule that only one adjective should be used to qualify a noun! Alas, it is not so. Many times we use more than one adjective to describe something. We get stumped when we start using multiple adjectives, wondering in what order they should be used. Take a look at this sentence:
‘The waiter served the food on a metal, round, big tray.’ It sound wrong doesn't it? The sentence would read much better like this:
’The waiter served the food on a big, round, metal tray.’
Is the order of adjectives appropriate in this next sentence:
’The waiter served the food on a big, round, metal, serving tray’? Yes! It seems so. Similarly, the sentence:
‘Cricket, old, red ball’ does not sound right but ‘Old, red, cricket ball’ does.
The order of adjectives depends on their function. In the tray example the adjective 'big' signifies size, 'round' tells about the shape, 'metal' talks about the material and 'serving' describes the purpose for which the tray is used. In the ball example the adjective 'old' refers to the age of the ball, 'red' denotes the colour and 'cricket' is the game for which the ball is used. Thus, we see that when the adjectives are used in a specific order the sentence reads right and the meaning is fairly clear.
Generally, adjectives should be used in this order:
Remember that there could be other attributes which may fit within the general order and sometimes the order of opinion or size attribute could be interchanged. Since using the correct order of adjectives improves your communication skills learn about them by taking the quiz that follows.
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