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Adjective Lesson Plan - English Adjectives Activity

In English, it is common to use more than one adjective before a noun - for example, "He's a silly young fool," or "she's a smart, energetic woman." When you use more than one adjective, you have to put them in the right order, according to type. This page will explain the different types of adjectives and the correct order for them.

Opinion An opinion adjective explains what you think about something (other people may not agree with you).
Examples: silly, beautiful, horrible, difficult
Size A size adjective, of course, tells you how big or small something is.
Examples: large, tiny, enormous, little
Age An age adjective tells you how young or old something or someone is.
Examples: ancient, new, young, old
Shape A shape adjective describes the shape of something.
Examples: square, round, flat, rectangular
Colour A colour adjective, of course, describes the colour of something.
Examples: blue, pink, reddish, grey
Origin An origin adjective describes where something comes from.
Examples: French, lunar, American, eastern, Greek
Material A material adjective describes what something is made from.
Examples: wooden, metal, cotton, paper
Purpose A purpose adjective describes what something is used for. These adjectives often end with "-ing".
Examples: sleeping (as in "sleeping bag"), roasting (as in "roasting tin")

Some examples of adjective order

  Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Origin Material Purpose  
a silly   young     English     man
a   huge   round     metal   bowl
a   small     red     sleeping bag
1. Which is the correct order?
a small Canadian thin lady
a Canadian small thin lady
a small thin Canadian lady
a thin small Canadian lady

2. Which is the correct order?
a carving steel new knife
a new steel carving knife
a steel new carving knife
a new carving steel knife

3. Which is the correct order?
a beautiful blue sailing boat
a blue beautiful sailing boat
a sailing beautiful blue boat
a blue sailing beautiful boat

4. Which is the correct order?
an old wooden square table
a square wooden old table
an old square wooden table
a wooden old square table

5. Which is the correct order?
an new French exciting band
a French new exciting band
an exciting French new band
an exciting new French band

6. Which is the correct order?
a red big plastic hat
a big red plastic hat
a plastic big red hat
a big plastic red hat

7. Which is the correct order?
a small Japanese serving bowl
a Japanese small serving bowl
a small serving Japanese bowl
a serving small Japanese bowl

8. Which is the correct order?
a cotton dirty old tie
a dirty cotton old tie
an old cotton dirty tie
a dirty old cotton tie

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