Ordering Adjectives

Learn about how to order adjectives

Our Program

When using multiple adjectives to describe something in your writing, there is a specific order that the adjectives must follow if they are within the same sentence. This order is something that most of us are unconsciously aware of when we’re writing, but don’t realize it because the ordering sounds and feels so natural! Let’s review what order adjectives need to come in within the same sentence.

Rules for ordering adjectives

Adjectives, when more than one is used in a sentence to describe the same subject, have to follow a specific order when they are written. We’ve created a table with an example to demonstrate this order:

Each adjective needs to be separated from the next one by a comma within the sentence. If we take the example we have above and turn it into a sentence, it might look something like this:

The two, horrid, big, spidery, new, black, Nulth, metal Voids jumped toward the animals!

Most sentences don’t use this many adjectives to describe the same noun, but this activity can help your child writer understand how they should order the adjectives they use in their writing! It can help their sentences flow better and feel more natural if their adjectives are correctly ordered.

If a sentence uses only a few adjectives from the above categories mentioned (number, opinion, size, shape, etc), they should still be ordered according to the table we have created above. Here is an example of a shortened version of the sentence we discussed above:

The horrid, black, metal Voids jumped towards the animals!

Notice how the opinion category came first (the adjective "horrid") because we didn’t use a numbered adjective. Then, we followed the same order for the other adjectives, just skipping the categories we didn’t use. This is a simple way to keep track of how you should be ordering adjectives in your writing!

Activity & Resource

Your child should now be ready to give our resources on ordering adjectives a try! We’ve included a reference page that shows the example we discussed and an activity in which your child can try ordering adjectives on their own. Good luck!

Get this resource as a PDF

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