English for B2 Students/Unit 11
Mary is wearing a beautiful, old dress[edit | edit source]
Aim of this lesson: review adjectives, look at gradable and ungradable adjectives and focus on the order that adjectives are used in sentences.
Gradable and Ungradable Adjectives[edit | edit source]
Adjectives in English can be gradable or ungradable. A gradable adjective is one which can be graded using words like 'quite' and 'very'. Ungradable adjectives can not be graded - it's not possible to say 'She is very starving' because the adjective 'starving' is already a strong adjective because it means 'very hungry'.
Examples of gradable adjectives: big, small, pretty, ugly, cold, hot, tired
Examples of ungradable adjectives: enormous, tiny, stunning, hideous, freezing, boiling, exhausted (these adjectives are the ungradable forms of the above gradable adjectives, i.e. very big = enormous, etc.)
Adjective Order[edit | edit source]
We can say 'an old blue sweater' but not 'a blue old sweater'.
Adjectives must be used in a specific order.
- Opinion (splendid, silly)
- Size (big)
- Age (new)
- Shape (round)
- Colour (blue, blonde)
- Origin (Italian)
- Material (wool, plastic)
- Purpose (sleeping, heating)
When using more than one adjective use them in the above order. It's rare to use more than 2 or 3 adjectives together.
Exercises[edit | edit source]
Try putting these sentences into the correct order. The answers can be found here:
- I have a (striped, beautiful, new) jumper.
- She has (black, long, curly) hair.