English is a language rich in adjectives. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that people sometimes put the adjectives in the wrong order when trying to describe something with a lot of detail.
The correct order isn’t immediately obvious for those who are learning English as a second language. Here are some easy pointers for remembering the right order.
The best way to remember any information is by using mnemonic resources. In this case, we will see each type of adjective reflected in the acronym: OSASCOMP.
Opinion – Size – Age – Shape – Colour – Origin – Material – Purpose
OSASCOMP – Opinion
This is a lovely rounded table. – Correct
This is a rounded lovely table. – Incorrect
OSASCOMP – Size
She has big brown eyes. – Correct
She has brown big eyes. – Incorrect
OSASCOMP – Age
Courtney bought some cool vintage records last week. – Correct
Courtney bought some vintage cool records last week. – Incorrect
OSASCOMP – Shape
That’s a squared purple chair. – Correct
That’s a purple squared chair. – Incorrect
OSASCOMP – Colour
She has a blue leather sofa. – Correct
She has a leather blue sofa. – Incorrect
OSASCOMP – Origin
This is a Mexican straw hat. – Correct
This is a straw Mexican hat. – Incorrect
OSASCOMP – Material
This is a leather sports jacket. – Correct
This is a sports leather jacket. – Incorrect
OSASCOMP – Purpose
Those are beautiful porcelain dinner plates. – Correct
Those are beautiful dinner porcelain plates. – Incorrect
Of course, these examples are following the order of adjectives without taking into consideration some specific reasons for the order to be different, such as context and intention.
However, in most cases, it is useful to remember and follow the OSASCOMP rules.
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