Do You Know You’re Using This Grammatical Rule Every Day?

Studio 512

If you’re like us, after a year of being cooped up at home you’re ready to pick up a new hobby or skill. Rosie has been taking Spanish classes Wednesday nights — virtually — at Austin Spanish Academy! They offer online classes for kids and adults, and registration is now open for their summer courses. Each group is limited to 5 students max, so you’re getting lots of personal interaction with the teacher (Rosie’s teacher is Claudia, and she’s amazing!). For more information, you can visit AustinSpanishAcademy.co.

One of our producers, Forest, just learned something you may not remember from English classes growing up: it’s something taught to non-native speakers. It’s called the “Order of Adjectives” and the rule says that there is always a correct order to each adjective in a sentence. According to “The Elements Of Eloquence: How To Turn The Perfect English Phrase,” this is breakdown:

-OPINION
-SIZE
-AGE
-SHAPE
-COLOR
-ORIGIN
-MATERIAL
-PURPOSE

Native English speakers do this intuitively, so they don’t often stop to think about these categories. To test this rule out, Forest sent Stephanie a “mad-libs” style game to describe three things: steak, Texas, and our boss, Korey. Can you figure out which is right and which is wrong? (Answers at the bottom of this article!)

First Sentence

(A) Stephanie really enjoys eating 21-day-old protein American delicious beef oval red big steak.

(B) Stephanie really enjoys eating delicious big 21-day-old oval red American beef protein steak.

Second Sentence

(A) We love to talk about old Southern Caddoan awesome waffle-like red white and blue huge Texas.

(B) We love to talk about awesome huge old waffle-like red white and blue Caddoan Southern Texas.

Third Sentence

(A) Our boss is generous tall older medium peach red-haired Wyomingite dad-like Korey.

(B) Our boss is older dad-like Wyomingite generous red-haired tall peach medium Korey.

(That’s right, Stephanie actually chose “peach” when asked for a color to describe our boss. It was our favorite adjective of the day.)

ANSWERS!

(The first sentence is B. The second sentence is B. The third sentence is A.)

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