Adjective order is important if you are using more than one adjective before a noun. There is often a specific order in which they must be placed. For example:
A black leather jacket
A leather black jacket
Here is a short acronym to help you remember:
opinion – size – age – shape – colour – origin – material – purpose
Below you will find an explanation for each letter and some example sentences.
Adjective Order Rule 1: OSASCOMP – O for opinion
Adjectives that talk about opinions, judgements or attitudes usually come first.
|Opinions, judgements or attitudes||Noun|
Adjective Order Rule 2: OSASCOMP – S for size
Adjectives relating to size, length and height come next. For example:
|Judgements, opinions or attitudes||Size, length, height||Noun|
Adjective Order Rule 3: OSASCOMP – A for age
Next are any adjectives relating to age
|Judgements, opinions or attitudes||Size, length, height||Age||Noun|
Adjective Order Rule #4: OSASCOMP – S for shape
|Judgements, opinions or attitudes||Size, length, height||Age||Shape||Noun|
Adjective Order Rule #5: OSASCOMP – C for colour
Next are the adjectives that talk about colour.
|Judgements, opinions or attitudes||Size, length, height||Age||Shape||Colour||Noun|
Adjective Order Rule #6: OSASCOMP – O for origin
This refers to adjectives that say where the noun is from.
|Judgements, opinions or attitudes||Size, length, height||Age||Shape||Colour||Origin||Noun|
Adjective Order Rule #7: OSASCOMP – M for material
This refers to what the noun is made of.
|Judgements, opinions or attitudes||Size, length, height||Age||Shape||Colour||Origin||Material||Noun|
Adjective Order Rule #8: OSASCOMP – P for purpose
This refers to what the noun is used for (e.g. wedding ring). They are often nouns used as adjectives.
|Judgements, opinions or attitudes||Size, length, height||Age||Shape||Colour||Origin||Material||Purpose||Noun|
1. The adjectives used in the tables above are examples only. It is uncommon in English to use more than three adjectives in the same sentence to describe a noun.
2. Some adjectives can be found in different positions, but if you follow the OSASCOMP rule you won’t be wrong!
Click here to try the adjective order exercises.