English Adjectives,
Determiners and
Order of Adjectives in a Sentence

An adjective is a word that describes a person or thing.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

Big, pretty, expensive, green, round, French, loud, quick, fat.

Example sentences:
  • He has big blue eyes.
  • The new car broke down.
  • The old lady was talking in a quiet voice.

The word "adjective" comes from the Latin word jacere, which means "to throw."

Different Types of adjectives

Adjectives can be divided into several types:

Nice, pretty, stupid, original, expensive, etc.

A sweet girl

A sweet girl


Big, small, large, tiny, enormous, little, etc.

An enormous cupcake

An enormous cupcake


Young, old, new, ancient, antique, etc.

An antique car

An antique car


Round, square, flat, straight, etc.

A round coin

A round coin

Blue, red, white, black, dark, bright, yellowish, etc.

A red apple
A red apple


Italian, British, Mexican, western, southern, etc.

An Italian pizza

An Italian pizza


Metal, wooden, plastic, golden, etc.

A wooden house

A wooden house


A determiner is a word that comes before a noun to show which person or thing you are talking about. 

A, an, the, my, your, some, any, several, enough, any.

Example sentences:
  • I have a red hat.
  • Please give me my bag.
  • Some people decided to leave.
  • She doesn't want any money.
  • They watched several movies.
Some people consider determiners to be a type of adjective. What's special about determiners is that you usually can use only one determiner at a time.

Incorrect: He has the my ticket.
Correct: He has my ticket / He has the ticket.

Click here to read more about English Determiners.

Nouns that act like adjectives

Sometimes nouns function as adjectives. In other words, they come before another noun and describe it.

  • Sports car
  • Orange juice
  • Television station
  • Coffee shop
  • Book cover

The order of adjectives

A noun can have several adjectives describing it.

"She bought a new red Italian table."
"He is a great, successful father."

There are certain rules on the correct order of these adjectives.

This is the order you should generally follow:

Determiner -> opinion -> size -> age -> shape -> color
-> origin -> material -> a word describing purpose/function

  • A nice little coffee shop
    (Determiner -> opinion -> size -> purpose/function word)
  • My huge new swimming pool
    (Determiner -> size -> age -> purpose/function word)
  • Several Chinese plastic cups
    (Determiner -> origin -> material)
  • The round yellow ball
    (Determiner -> shape -> color)

Adjectives from the same type:
When you have several adjectives from the same type, you should separate them with commas or a conjunction (and, but).

A cheap, good meal
A happy, smart man
The beautiful, original painting
My nice and sweet cat
An expensive but important trip

Comparative adjectives

"Comparative" means "comparing something to something else."

Comparative adjective show which thing is better, worse, stronger, weaker, and so forth.

Better, worse, bigger, smaller, nicer, fatter, thinner, more dangerous.

Example sentences:
  • She is a better student than her brothers.
  • The test was worse than I'd expected.
  • You are stronger than me.
  • He seems healthier.
  • You are more beautiful than her.

Superlative adjectives

"Superlative" means "of the highest degree."

Superlative adjectives show us which thing is the best, the strongest, and so forth.

Best, worst, strongest, smallest, cheapest, most expensive.

Example sentences:
  • You are my best friend.
  • This is the worst day of my life.
  • Even the smallest donation helps.
  • This is the most expensive restaurant I've ever heard of.

Read also:

Comparatives and Superlatives

Possessive Adjectives, Showing Ownership

Illustrated Worksheet on Adjectives

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