Chapter 1-5-11: The Position and Word Order of Adjectives
Here are some questions that students might wonder about:
Does the adjective get positioned before or after the noun?
What about a verb? Can adjectives go after a verb?
What if there is more than one adjective? For example, what if a hat is brown and also ugly? What is the word order for placing these adjectives?
Adjectives Before Nouns
Adjectives are used when more information is needed about a person, place or thing.
Normally, Adjectives are placed in front on nouns. These are referred to as Attributive Adjectives.
They are placed after a determiner (a, an, the, this, that etc.) and before the noun.
Adjectives After Nouns
Adjectives that directly follow a noun are called postpositive adjectives.
Uses for postpositive adjectives:
Certain instiutionalized expressions or fixed phrases
Some adjectives ending in -ible/-able
With Superlative Adjectives
After pronouns like something, everything, anything, nothing, somebody, anywhere, etc.
Adjectives After Verbs
Adjectives that follow a noun and a verb are called predicative adjectives.
These adjectives can follow verbs such as:
Subject Verb Adjective examples:
Order of Adjectives
When more than one adjective appears before a noun, the adjectives occur in a specific order unless the author intentionally breaks the rule for artistic expression. So, for example, adjectives about opinions appear first in the list of adjectives, and adjectives related to purpose occur at the end of this list.
The following table lists the usual sequence of adjectives that appear before a noun: