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8 Common ESL Errors—and How to Correct Them
Error #8: Wrong Order of Adjectives

ESL writers need to pay special attention to the order of adjectives. In English, when two or more adjectives (modifiers) appear before a noun, they should follow a certain order. Here is the usual order of adjectives in a series:
1. Article or other noun signal word (a, an, the, most)
2. Judgment (wonderful, unfair, useful, ugly)
3. Size (large, tiny, little)
4. Shape (round, long, bell-shaped)
5. Age (old, teenaged, modern)
6. Color (green, yellow, black)
7. Nationality (Vietnamese, Dominican, Russian)
8. Material (stone, wood, cotton)
Wrong adjective order:
      I just bought a yellow new Mini Cooper.
I just bought a new yellow Mini Cooper.
Wrong adjective order:
      Is that your silver Mexican favorite necklace?
Is that your favorite Mexican silver necklace?

For more instruction and practice on adjectives, see Chapter 33, Adjectives and Adverbs, Evergreen, pages 435-449.

Interactive Quiz: Put the Adjectives in Order

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