adjective order

< Previous | Next >

navi

Banned
armenian
Which are correct:

1-I was talking to a Spanish tall and heavy man, not a French one.
2-I was talking to a tall and heavy Spanish man, not a French one. (not a French "tall and heavy man)


3-I have a blue large new rectangular desk, not a red one.
4-I have a large new rectangualr blue desk, not a red one. (not a red "new rectangular desk")

5-I have a Korean good computer, not a Japense one.
6-I have a good Korean computer, not a Japense one. (not a Japenese "good computer")

7-This is my black big cat. I also have a white one.
8-This is my big black cat. I also have a white one. (a white "big cat")

I know that generally there is an order that has to be respected as regards cumulative adjectives (these are adjectives between which one cannot put a comma or "and")

Sentences 2, 4, 6 and 8 respect the normal order and the other ones don't. Yet one could see what the reason could be for not respecting the order. One adjective is of great importance because it is what distinguishes two things/people. So in a sense it would natural to put it first. On the other hand one could accentuate it when speaking.
I do not know what should be done. I guess all the sentence could be considered correct, but I am not sure.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Odd remarks like that made in sentence 5 are possible, Navi. In my experience, they are rare. Speakers would likely convey that information by stressing the word "Korean" with intonation, rather than wrenching it out of its normal place in a sequence of adjectives: I have a good Korean computer, not a Japanese one. This, of course, is the solution you offered in sentence 6. Even when you are writing rather than speaking, you can do the same thing by underlining the word you wish to emphasize or placing that word in italics.

    You should regard sentences like "This is my black big cat." as oddities - they are possible though unlikely.
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You should regard sentences like "This is my black big cat." as oddities - they are possible though unlikely.
    I agree, the usual order puts size before colour, but when you're specifying some particular detail, then the order can change, usually alongside a stressed pronunciation, or often in comparisons... "I have two big cats, one is red and one is black. This is my red big cat and that is my black big cat". It is okay but sounds a bit weird to me, but it's okay to use it like that, though I'd probably just stick to the normal order.
     

    emre aydın

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Hello people, let's assume you are describing a painting. Which one would you prefer? Or are both of them correct?

    1) A nice valuable painting. (I'd prefer this one)

    2) A valuable nice painting.

    Thank you for your help.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Both sound awful, I'm afraid:). "Nice", when used with another adjective, just gives a general sense of approval. It is always overshadowed by the second adjective.

    That's a small car. (Probably a rather negative remark)
    That's a nice little car. (That car is small, but in a positive way.)
    This is a nice comfortable chair.


    That's a nice painting.
    (I approve of that painting.)
    That's a valuable painting.
    That's a nice, valuable painting/That's a valuable nice painting -
    these are not idiomatic, but the first is passable I think. I would have a problem with this collocation though: a valuable painting deserves a stronger epithet than the very weak "nice".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Behold! The Royal Order of Adjectives!


    Odd remarks like that made in sentence 5 are possible, Navi. In my experience, they are rare. Speakers would likely convey that information by stressing the word "Korean" with intonation, rather than wrenching it out of its normal place in a sequence of adjectives:
    :thumbsup: The ability to place adverbs for emphasis is not common to adjectives.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It is an observation, as is "valuable" as per the chart above -" A nice, and a valuable, painting." "Nice and valuable" cannot be together.

    I agree that "nice" is wincingly awful in that sentence but "a well-executed and valuable painting" would work.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top