LEARN A WORD A DAY

Monday, August 10, 2009

Adjective Order

There are 2 basic positions for adjectives:

  1. before the noun
  2. after certain verbs (be, become, get, seem, look, feel, sound, smell, taste)


adj.nounverbadj.
1I likebigcars.

2

My carisbig.

Adjective Before Noun

We sometimes 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. The general order is: opinion, fact:

  • a nice Korean car (not a Korean nice car)

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

2. The normal order for fact adjectives is size, age, shape, colour, material, origin:

  • a big, old, square, black, wooden Chinese table

3. Determiners usually come first, even though they are fact adjectives:

  • articles (a, the)
  • possessives (my, your...)
  • demonstratives (this, that...)
  • quantifiers (some, any, few, many...)
  • numbers (one, two, three)

Here is an example with opinion and fact adjectives:

adjectivesnoun
deter-
miner
opinionfact
ageshapecolour
twoniceoldroundredcandles

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.
Adjective After Certain Verbs

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 sentence, 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.

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Collection of SPM English Language Question Papers

2005
Terengganu Trial [Paper 1]

2007
Johor Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Answers], Melaka Trial 2007 [Paper 1] [Paper 2], TIMES [Paper 1] [Paper 2] SPB [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2008

Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2],
Trial
MRSM Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], SBP Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kelantan Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Terengganu Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Kedah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Johor Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Perlis Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sabah Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2], Sarawak Trial [Paper 1 & 2], Melaka Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

2009

Terengganu TOV [Paper 1] [Paper 2] Terengganu Mid Year [Paper 1] [Paper 2]
Melaka Trial , Johor Trial , Sabah Trial , Kedah Trial , Perlis Trial , Times , SBP , Pahang Trial [Paper 1] [Paper 2]

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