YOU KNOW THIS BUT DON'T KNOW YOU KNOW IT

Cumulative Adjectives.
You've probably never heard of them (I hadn't) but use them and subject yourself to their grammatical laws daily.
See, when we use a combination of adjectives to describe something they have to be assembled in a strict order. And that order is
Quantity. Opinion. Size/Measurement. Age.
Length/Shape. Colour. Origin. Material. Purpose.
And if you don't follow that rule you end up with nonsense.
But don't fret yourself - you do this automatically and without thinking about it.
Consider the sentence
I bought three (quantity) tasty (opinion) Cornish (origin) pasties.
or
We keep the old (age) wooden (material) rocking (purpose) chair in the shed.
If you don't believe me try re-ordering them. You get
I bought tasty Cornish three pasties.
or
We keep the rocking old wooden chair....

Now EFL students need to learn this sequence but you are more fortunate; you have assimilated this knowledge through usage.
You know it but never knew you knew it.
13 days ago
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