Adjectives: adjective sequence


He has a beautiful old wooden table - Ele tem uma mesa ** linda de madeira velha**

We often use two or more adjectives to describe a noun:

  • The large wooden table.
  • She has a big old rusty boat.

The sequence of adjectives is determined by each adjective's category. There are 10 main categories and in adjective phrases, they appear in the following order:

# Category Example
1 Quantity two, first
2 Opinion lovely, nice
3 Size big, tiny
4 Age old, young
5 Shape round, square
6 Temperature cold, hot
7 Colour red, green
8 Origin British, French
9 Material wooden, plastic
10 Purpose cooking, sports


  • A wise (opinion) old (age) man.
  • A small (size) wooden (material) box.
  • A beautiful (opinion) red (colour) sports (purpose) car.
Further learning
Description Author Language
Easy to remember rules that are especially helpful for speaking
Advanced rules for using 'and' and 'but' in between adjectives BBC Learning
Basic rules, a mnemonic and more examples


This grammar section includes materials sourced from the following: Linguapress, Grammarnet,