The Order of English Adjectives

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Unlike Romance languages like Spanish or Italian, English posits descriptive words BEFORE the noun (Person, Place, Thing, or Idea).

For example, in Spanish we have:


However in English we have:

“The white house”

(if it were the place where the U.S. President resides we would write it, “The Whitehouse”.)

Quite often in English we connect a rather long string of descriptive words or “adjectives” before a noun. If they are different “kinds” of descriptive words then there is a standardised rule in the order of placement in the following manner:


1. Which ones did you buy?

I bought the three beautiful small old slender golden Asian wooden festive carvings

2. What was she wearing last night?

She was wearing a long yellow cotton party dress.

3. What were your clothes packed in?

They were packed in a flimsy green cardboard shipping box.

4. What are you looking for while in London?

I’m looking to buy two small English porcelain tea cups.

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