Which adjectives go first?

These [2] big, [6] red [9] capital letters contrast with the [1] ugly, [6] green slats.

The most common sequence of adjectives is: opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material. If you are a native speaker of English, you probably write this way without thinking – unless it’s an unusually long string of adjectives. If English is an additional language for you, this is a lesson you might want to save for future use.

sequence   relates to   examples
1 opinion   remarkable, healthy, cooperative
2 size   short, tiny, enormous
3 physical quality   heavy, wide, narrow
4 shape   round, square, oval
5 age   young, 100-year-old, adolescent
6 color   blue, aqua, teal 
7 origin   French, South American, Bostonian
8 material   hardwood, synthetic, silk 
9 type   recyclable, creamy, C-shaped 
10 purpose   baking, bicycling, washing
    Examples:

  • The [1] unique, [6] blue, [8] woolen yarn contrasts beautifully with the [9] muslin fabric.
  • The designer chose the [4] long,[7] beige, [10] room-darkening blinds.
  • For the headings on your website, choose a [2] thin, [3] delicate, [9] sans-serif font.

Wonderful world of words: Prices are high these days.

Gas costs an arm and a leg.

Whole sale pharmacy.

Well. these shirts are cheap.

Sale: Buy owner.

Wonderful world of words: Be very careful.

Caution:
Arm comes down.

Caution:
Donkey bites!

Caution:
Many people walking.

Caution: May require supervision.

 

Wonderful world of words: Know your numbers, too.

Everything is in Aisle 1.

Buy acne or suncare here in Aisle 2.

 

13-and-a-half Street,
Washington DC

Store open 8 days a week

 

Wonderful world of words: Directional signs

I write, therefore I use words. Words, obviously, make sentences. They also make signs, which are sometimes straightforward, sometimes off, sometimes simple, sometimes stupid. I am beginning to post my favorites, four at a time, for your reading delight. Let’s start with directional signs.

Seattle crossing

Seattle crossing

Mount Aire Farm Road twice

Mount Aire Farm Road

Salamander crossing

Salamander crossing

Welcome to Washin

Welcome to Washin

Just so you know where you are.