adjective order.

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thuhoai

Senior Member
Vietnam
Hi,everyone


Could you please explain me which one is correct?

1.-the world’s major fastest-growing drugs market.
2.-the world’s fastest-growing major drugs market.

Thanks,
 
  • ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    The correct order is, "the world's fastest-growing major drug market."

    (I think "drugs market" might be BrE.)
     
    Last edited:

    ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Sure, thuhoai. :)

    Comparatives and superlatives have priority over other adjectives, so they appear first in lists of adjectives modifying a noun.
     

    thuhoai

    Senior Member
    Vietnam
    I mean that why structure of the phrase "the world’s major fastest-growing drugs market" is not correct? .
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    To say "fastest-growing major drug market" means that there are several major drug markets, but that this one is growing faster than any of the others.

    To say "major fastest-growing drug market" means that several drug markets are the fastest growing (which is impossible; while several may grow fast, only one can have the fastest growth), but only one of these markets is a major drug market -- presumably, the others are minor markets.

    The second choice does not make sense; only the first choice expresses the idea correctly.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Not to mention that in this context "the world's" is associated with "fastest-growing," since the sense is "the fastest growing in the world." You wouldn't want to split that phrase up by slamming the "major" in there. So the only other choice (besides the correct "world's fastest-growing major drug market") would be "the major world's fastest-growing drug market" - which is even more gruesome than GreenWhiteBlue's example suggests.

    Basically, think about what you are comparing - "major drug markets" to "major drug markets." Some are growing, some are growing fast, some are growing faster, but only one is growing the fastest in the world. So we've developed the syntagm "the world's fastest-growing" to use to modify the one "major drug market" in question here. Unfortunately, we can't break up those syntactic units without drastically changing the sense of the sentence. So we have to keep them in order, following the rule about comparative/superlative precedence stated by Ribran.
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    So the only other choice would be "the major world's fastest-growing drug market"
    I don't think this works at all. It looks to me like that would be the fastest-growing drug market of the major world, as opposed, I presume to the fastest-growing drug markets of the various minor worlds. Who knows about drug markets on several worlds to be able to make a comparison?
     

    Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    "major" is more tightly bound to "supermarket" so it should remain close to it. In effect the selection of supermarkets in this superlative construction is restricted to major supermarkets, so it has to remain next to it so that the meaning is not changed.
     
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