《Basic Grammar-Using Adjectives》
（文╱Robert Tolmasoff）In English an adjective is used to describe a noun. We can use more than one adjective to describe the same noun, so the question is, what is the correct order of the adjectives that come before a noun.
Take a look at the sentence below.
O: We have a new, small, brown dog.
Why not say,
X: We have a brown, small, new dog.
There is a set order based on the category of the adjectives that determine which adjective should come first. Below are the categories, with some examples, in the order in which they should appear before the noun.
Opinion: exciting, boring, interesting
Size: large, giant, small, medium
Age: new, old, modern
Condition: damaged, dirty, clean
Origin, American, Chinese, French
Material: Cotton, wooden, plastic
Purpose: Computer (desk), tea (cup), dinner (plate)
Opinion is always the first adjective and purpose is always the closest to the noun. So if I wanted to use the adjectives, American, red, and old, to describe a car, the correct order would be:
O: He has an old red American car.
Another example: Expensive, wooden, modern to describe a house.
O: They bought an expensive modern wooden house in the mountains.
Remember this is a grammatical function, and these rules should be followed. If these rules are not followed, the description of the noun will sound awkward to native speakers.
Robert Tolmasoff is a trainer, editor, and author based in Taipei. His clients include international companies as well as individuals looking to sharpen their communications skills. Robert’s last two books, 上班族完美英文e-mail輕鬆寫 and 1000 Essential Business English Terms, are available in books stores and from McGraw-Hill Taiwan. Have ideas for future columns or questions? Email Robert at email@example.com
(PHOTO via lapidim CC License ）