Adjective-Its Meaning, Types, Their Uses & Ordering of  Multiple Adjectives


Adjective is a  word used to describe a noun or pronoun or it qualifies a noun or pronoun.

It adds to the meaning of  a noun or pronoun.


For Example :

  • John is a boy. Or He is a boy.

In these sentences John and boy are nouns and He is a pronoun.


  • John is a handsome boy. He is a brilliant boy.

The words ‘handsome and brilliant‘ added to the noun boy are adjectives. These are to describe qualities of the noun or pronoun.


An adjective is described as it is used in a particular part of a sentence i.e. Attributively or Predicatively. 

Attributively : A handsome boy married her. A brilliant boy won the prize.

Predicatively : Her husband is handsome. The winner is brilliant.



1. Adjective of Quality

1. Adjective of Quality : It describes about qualities of a person, place or a thing. It is also called Descriptive Adjective.

For example :  

  • John eats fresh fruit. He is an honest man.

This adjective answers the question — ‘Of what kind is the noun or pronoun?’

Of what kind — a fruit or a man —  fresh fruit  and honest man.

2. Adjective of Quantity

2. Adjective of Quantity : It shows how much amount of a thing is meant i.e. Some milk, no mercy, much patience etc. It answers the question , how much .

Example :

  • He gave me some money. How much money ? — some money.
3. Numerical Adjective or Adjective of Numbers

3. Numerical Adjective or Adjective of Numbers : It describes the number of things or shows how many persons things or places are meant or in what order these stand ; as Two pictures, Five men, First, Second, or last building,some oranges etc.

These can further be divided  into two categories i.e. Definite and Indefinite numeral Adjectives.

  • Definite numeral adjectives are Two , Five, First, Fifth or one dozen etc.
  • Indefinite numeral adjectives are  some , any, many, a few , several or certain etc.
4. Demonstrative Adjective

4. Demonstrative Adjective  : It points out which person, place or thing is meant. For example This house, That boy, Those birds, yonder building etc.

This and These are used to show nearness and That and Those refer to distance. This and That are used with singular nouns and These and Those are used with plural nouns.


Difference between Demonstrative Pronoun & Demonstrative Adjective:

Demonstrative Pronoun : This is my book. Those are pretty girls. Here This and These are used as demonstrative pronouns.

Demonstrative Adjective : This book is mine. Those girls are pretty. Here This and Those are used as demonstrative adjectives.


5. Interrogative Adjective

5. Interrogative Adjective : It raises a question about a noun or a pronoun. For example  : Who stole  my pen? Which is your watch ? Where does this road lead to?  Whose pen  is this? Here words who,which, where and whose are interrogative pronouns.

Difference between Interrogative Pronoun & Interrogative Adjective:

Interrogative Pronoun :  Which is your pen?  What is the time?  Here which and what are used as interrogative pronouns.

Interrogative Adjective : Which pen is yours ? What time is it? Here which and what are used as interrogative adjectives.

Difference between Interrogative Adjective & Exclamatory Adjective:

Interrogative Adjective : What way did he adopt?  What idea has he in his mind?  – What is used as interrogative adjective.

Exclamatory  adjectives : What a way he adopted! What an idea he had in his mind ! – What is used  to show exclamation.


6. Distributive Adjective

6. Distributive  Adjective :  It refers to each one of a number.It depicts each item of a group or category.For example; Every person, each student, neither section, or either daughter etc.

Difference between Distributive Pronoun & Distributive Adjective:

Distributive Pronoun : Each of the  students respected him. Neither of the brothers went there.Here each and neither are used as distributive pronouns.

Distributive adjective : Each student respected him. Neither brother went there. Here each and neither are used as distributive adjectives.

7. Possessive Adjective

7. Possessive  Adjective :  It is used to show possession of a thing, person or a place. For example. His brother is very honest. Your turn is over now.  Here his and your are used as possessive adjectives. My, our, Your, his her, their  and Its etc.are the words used as  possessive adjectives. The word ‘own’  is used as an adjective to show emphasis.

For example:

I saw it with my own eyes. Mind your own business. He  was trapped in his own trap. He is his own master.

8. Proper Adjective

8. Proper  Adjective :  An adjective formed from a  proper noun is called Proper adjective.

For example Indian , Chinese or French etc.



Rarely are used more than three or four adjectives before a noun unless these are there  to be very descriptive. However in case of multiple adjectives a little variation occurs with regard to order of adjectives. However there is  a generally an accepted method to put these adjectives in a particular order.


  1. Article — A , An , The articles are put in the first place. There may be number of nouns also like one, two, three etc.
  2. Opinion — It is about judgement of the  person about the thing as how it appears to be i.e. beautiful, ugly, enchanting, fantastic etc.
  3. Size —  It describes how a thing appears big, small, large,tiny, tall, short or long etc.
  4.  Age– It describes how old the thing is like new,old, young. ancient, modern, antique etc.
  5.  Shape–  It describes the shape of a thing like round, flat, circular,spherical or cylindrical etc.
  6. Colour — It describes about colour of the thing as red, blue,pink or black etc.
  7. Origin — It describes where the noun comes from like Indian, French or Chinese etc.
  8. Material — It is about the material of which the noun is made of like wooden, silky, woollen or brazen etc.
  9. Purpose —  It describes the purpose for which a noun is used like cultivating, ploughing, or hunting etc.


Article/Number Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Origin Material  Purpose Noun
An attractive tall young      — black Indian         —       — lady


Article/Number Opinion Size Age Shape Colour Origin Material  Purpose Noun
An attractive tall young      — black Indian         —       — lady


Number Opinion size age shape colour origin material Purpose Noun
She was wearing        a beautiful    long    new      —    black   Indian    silk      — saree


All these types of adjectives are never used in a single sentence for a single noun. Only three or four nouns are used for a noun in a sentence. For that the aforesaid sequence is maintained despite the fact that there  is a variation of views about use of three like opinion, appearance and age.

Besides these, there is another type of adjective relating to temperature like hot, cold or warm etc

Examples :

A beautiful, big ,round, black, metallic box.

An attractive, tall, young, stout, black blonde.

Four small, round,wooden,brown study tables.

However the sequence of adjectives can be learnt by  taking first alphabet of the words in seriatum like

Number,Opinion,Size, Age ,Shape,  Colour, Origin, Material, Purpose  —-  NOSASCOMP


Sometimes a single quality is repeated by different adjectives like tall, lofty, sky- rocketing building or fat,pompous, fleshy, bulky body. etc. In such cases arrangement can be according to common understanding only.

Some Sentences for practice —
  1. My office was situated in ( an, old, big, dingy, dome shaped, ugly ) building.
  2.  This book contains ( twenty, interesting, short, English ) stories.
  3. The guests  were served with ( hot,delicious,Indian,several, vegetarian) dishes.
  4. We walked on a very (long,serpentine dusty crowded) road.
  5. His wife is (a, healthy, tall,black, soft speaking ) lady.
  6. She is holding ( a, small, new, cotton,red, square ) handkerchief in her hand.
  7. The old man distributed ( many fresh red juicy small and large) apples to children.
  8. I purchased (a beautiful new round wooden brown study ) table for my son.
  9. He helped me in solving (many, difficult, lengthy mathematics ) exercises.
  10. We met ( a smart handsome twenty years old brave young ) man on the way.




  1. My office was situated in (an, ugly, big, old, dome shaped, dingy ) building.
  2. This book contains ( twenty, interesting, short, English ) stories.
  3. The guests  were served with (several,delicious,Indian, hot, vegetarian)
  4. We walked on a very (long,serpentine dusty crowded) road.
  5. His wife is (a, soft speaking, healthy, tall, black )
  6. She is holding (a, small, new,square, red, cotton ) handkerchief in her hand.
  7. The old man distributed (many fresh small and large, red juicy ) apples to children.
  8. I purchased (a beautiful new round brown wooden study ) table for my son.
  9. He helped me in solving (many, difficult, lengthy mathematics) exercises.
  10. We met (a smart handsome twenty years old brave young ) man on the way.


The sentences written above are academic exercise purpose only.  It is never that so many adjectives of a noun or pronoun are  used in a single sentence, Only two or three adjectives are used. Nevertheless,if need be,  separate sentences are  formed to express qualities of  a  thing.

Sometimes two adjectives are  used to express a single quality of a thing. In that case the word’and’ is used between them. For example lovely and beautiful, tasty and delicious Fast and swift. In this case it can be either way, beautiful and lovely or lovely and beautiful. For this no specific sequence is not used.To separate all the adjectives signs comma are used between them. Here is an exercise with simple sentences having two or three adjectives as  used in routine writing.


Arrange adjectives given in parenthesis here under in an appropriate order :

  1. (beautiful ,a, tall) lady was carrying  ( a , lovely , black, leather) purse.
  2. The site presented ( a , picturesque, lush green, lovely ) view to the eyes.
  3. The old man lived in a very (old, shabby, mud house).
  4. (Fresh juicy) fruit are good for health.
  5. She is having ( black,long shiny ) hair.
  6. The old lady was wearing (a/an red, fur,expensive ) coat.
  7. The child is sitting on (a, rectangular, small, wooden) bench.
  8. The beggar wears ( a/an , old, brown, dirty) shirt.
  9. My mother told me  (a /an short, interesting ) story.
  10. The hawker was wearing ( a , black,torn, leather ) pair of shoes.



Fill in the blanks with the given adjectives in an appropriate order :

1.The young prince looked …………….(charming,young , tall and).

2. The group consisted of ………………….( intelligent, six, young, Indian) boys.

3. She placed all the articles in  ……………( a , small, black, rectangular)  box.

4. The host offered…………….. (many, delicious,Indian) dishes to guests.

5. The old man sold his…………..(old, small,black) car.

6. A …………….(mild,fresh,cool) wind was blowing.

7. I like her ………….(black,curly) hair.







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