Mark Forsyth on the Proper Advective Order (!)

“…adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out. And as size comes before colour, green great dragons can’t exist.”

Mark Forsyth


  1. Opinion
  2. size
  3. age
  4. shape
  5. colour
  6. origin
  7. material
  8. purpose
  9. Noun

Sensational!

If you’re not on the list   I can’t help you.   Help me help you!

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