How to Put your Adjectives in Order

A Philippine colorful, old, slow,  beautiful, passenger boxy jeepney.  A what???  That’s right.  What happens when you have several adjectives to describe something?  Do you know how to correctly put them in order?  It’s so much easier when you only have a two adjectives, but it gets very confusing when you have more than that.  Here’s your guide on how to put the adjective in order:

Study English at the American Institute for English Proficiency:
Study English at the American Institute for English Proficiency:
  1. Determiner – a, an, the, my, your, few, several
  2. Observation (Opinion) – beautiful, fast, colorful
  3. Physical Description (Size) – big, small, tiny, huge
  4. Physical Description (Shape) – rectangular, round, square
  5. Physical Description (Age) – new, old, young, ancient
  6. Physical Description (Color) – red, white, blue, yellow
  7. Origin – Filipino, Philippine American, Spanish
  8. Material – gold, wooden, metal
  9. Qualifier – Purpose Adjective, Limits the Noun  such as basketball player, sleeping bag, birthday party
  10. Noun – What you are describing

Here are some examples:

  1. I met a beautiful, petite, young, tanned Filipino woman at the birthday party.
  2. I would like to buy a fast, big, red, Italian sports car for my birthday next year.
  3. I ate a delicious, round, white, Filipino, street food they call squid or chicken ball.

Now let’s try describing the jeepney again using the royal order of adjectives.  Can you do it now?  One easy way to memorize the order is to put it into an acronym or initialism: DOSSACOMQ.  Can you create a sentence out of that?  Hmmm.  Let me try making one.  I’ll be back to update this blog when I come up with one.  In the meantime, keep practicing and you’ll eventually get it without using a cheat sheet.


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