I have come across different Adjectives Order Lists on the internet. A web page of Bristol University says as follows: Number - Opinion - Size - Age - Shape - Color - Nationality/Origin - Material-Purpose.

According to that order : "I have a nice small old round brown Chinese Wooden serving bowl" is a correct sentence. Is that order correct?

I'ts a quite awkward list, I know. It's just for the sake of checking the order. Also, should there be any commas between the adjectives, or just between adjectives that are interchangeable?

  • 1
    None of those "adjective order" rules are universally true - they all just reflect attempts to identify relatively common tendencies in natural speech. Realistically, no-one would ever say anything like your "bowl" example, so it's completely meaningless to ask whether it's "correct" or not. Effectively, it's closer to "gibberish" than "correct English" Jul 21, 2017 at 17:03
  • ...you might be interested in If you have more than one adjective to describe a noun, is there is a specific order you put them? (which this question might be a duplicate of), but note that no-one has even bothered to upvote the only answer there. Jul 21, 2017 at 17:08
  • I see. I guess you're right since I have found many other responses like yours on grammar pages.
    – juan
    Jul 21, 2017 at 17:50
  • 1
    You may also be interested in this question on ELU, which addresses whether adjective order can affect literal meaning: english.stackexchange.com/questions/17028/…
    – Adam
    Jul 21, 2017 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


The list, although open to interpretation, is a good guideline if you're not sure. Using it will help prevent miscommunication. There is an upper limit to chained adjectives. Not a 'hard' limit but a comprehension limit. By the time I get to "Chinese, wooden" in your list, "nice, small, and old" have been forgotten.

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