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Adjective Order

There are 2 basic positions for adjectives:

1. Adjective Before Noun

2. Adjective After Verb

adj. adj.
before after
noun verb
1 I have a big dog.
2 Snow is white.

Adjective Before Noun

We often use more than one adjective before the noun:

 I like big black dogs.

 She was wearing a beautiful long red dress.

What is the correct order for two or more adjectives?

1. First of all, the general order is:

opinion, fact

"Opinion" is what you think about something. "Fact" is what is definitely true about something.

 a lovely new dress (not a new lovely dress)

 a boring French film (not a French boring film)

2. The "normal" order for fact adjectives is

size, shape, age, colour / origin / material / purpose

 a small 18th-century French coffee table

 a rectangular black wooden box

3. Determiners usually come first, even though some grammarians regard them as fact

 articles (a, the)

 possessives (my, your...)
 demonstratives (this, that...)
 quantifiers (some, any, few, many...)
 numbers (one, two, three)

Note that when we want to use two colour adjectives, we join them with "and":

 Many newspapers are black and white.

 She was wearing a long, blue and yellow dress.

Here are some examples of adjective order:

adjectives head
determiner opinion fact adjectives noun
adjectives other size, shape, origin material purpose*
age, colour
two ugly black guard dogs
a well- Chinese artist
a small, 18th- French coffee table
your fabulous new sports car
a lovely pink and Thai silk dress
some black Spanish leather riding boots
a big black and dog
this cheap plastic rain coat
an old wooden fishing boat
my new tennis racket
a wonderful 15th-century Arabic poem
*often a noun used as an adjective
Not all grammarians agree about the exact order of adjectives, and the detailed rules are
complicated. The rules on this page are for the normal, "natural" order of adjectives. These rules
are not rigid, and you may sometimes wish to change the order for emphasis. Consider the
following conversations:

Conversation 1
A "I want to buy a round table."
B "Do you want a new round table or an old round table?"

Conversation 2
A "I want to buy an old table".
B "Do you want a round old table or a square old table?"
Adjective After Verb
An adjective can come after some verbs, such as: be, become, feel, get, look, seem, smell, sound

Even when an adjective comes after the verb and not before a noun, it always refers to and
qualifies the subject of the clause, not the verb.

Look at the examples below: subject verb adjective

 Ram is English.
 Because she had to wait, she became impatient.
 Is it getting dark?
 The examination did not seem difficult.
 Your friend looks nice.
 This towel feels damp.
 That new film doesn't sound very interesting.
 Dinner smells good tonight.
 This milk tastes sour.
 It smells bad.

These verbs are "stative" verbs, which express a state or change of state, not "dynamic" verbs
which express an action. Note that some verbs can be stative in one sense (she looks beautiful | it
got hot), and dynamic in another (she looked at him | he got the money). The above examples do
not include all stative verbs.

Note also that in the above structure (subject verb adjective), the adjective can qualify a pronoun
since the subject may be a pronoun.


- She had a nice black British bag (Dia memiliki tas British berwarna hitam yang bagus)
- My aunt will marry a nice handsome young man (Bibi saya akan menikahi seorang pria muda
yang tampan dan baik)
- Cat is a lovely intelligent pet (Kucing adalah hewan peliharaan yang menyenangkan dan
Contoh kalimat dari jenis-jenis adjectice order

Jenis Adjective Order Contoh Kalimat

Opinion (pendapat) 1. a beautiful girl. (seorang gadis yang cantik)

2. a handsome boy. (seorang anak laki-laki yang tampan)

3. an easy question. (sebuah pertanyaan yang mudah)

Size (ukuran) 1. a beautiful high tree. (sebuah pohon tinggi yang indah)

2. a beautiful tall girl. (seorang gadis tinggi yang cantik)

3. a big fat dog. ( seekor anjing besar yang gemuk)

Age (umur) 1.a beautiful tall girl . (seorang gadis tinggi yang cantik)

2. a beautiful young girl. (seorang gadis muda yang cantik)

Shape (bentuk fisik) 1. a beautiful tall new rectangular magazine. (sebuah majalah persegi
panjang yang baru )

Colour (warna) 1. there are big black clouds floating in the air. (ada awan yang besar
yang bergerak di udara)

2. a thin new rectangular black book. (sebuah buku hitam baru

berbentuk persegi panjang)
An origin 1. Raisa is a popular Indonesian singer. (Raisa adalah seorang
(kebangsaan/asal) penyanyi Indonesia yang populer)

2. there is an American move. (ada sebuah pergerakkan Amerika)

Material (bahan) 1. at my home there is a beautiful square wooden table in the dining
room. (di rumah saya terdapat sebuah meja kotak indah yang ada di
ruang makan)

Purpose 1. a beautiful wedding dress. (sebuah gaun pengantin yang indah)