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  1. She is a well-developed, tall, young woman.
  2. She is a tall, young, well-developed woman.

In the sentences, which order of adjectives is correct? I'd like to know the rule for placing various adjectives.

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    I'd say neither. My preference would be tall, well-developed, young.
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 12:48

1 Answer 1

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There's a standard order, I guess (just search "English adjective order" for examples):

What the adjective expresses    Examples
------------------------------- ------------------------------
Quantity                        four, ten, a few, several
Value/Opinion                   delicious, charming, beautiful
Size                            tall, tiny, huge
Temperature                     hot, cold
Age                             old, young, new, 14-year-old
Shape                           square, round
Color                           red, purple, green
Origin                          Swedish, Victorian, Chinese
Material                        glass, silver, wooden

The only hard rules are:

  • Determiners first, always, this includes articles, possessive pronouns, etc.

  • Quanitity should always precede anything else. I think in these cases they are technically a type of determiner. "I had blue four cars" sounds wrong.

Also it's a good idea to have color and material close to the noun, but this won't kill a sentence if you don't do it:

I have four blue tall boxes ("I have four tall blue boxes" sounds a bit better but "four blue tall boxes" doesn't sound wrong.)

Apart from the above, you can simply choose what sounds best or rolls off your tongue the easiest.

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