Today we will talk about some of the rules of the English language, when meeting with whom I want to say: “What the hell are you talking about?” Ready? Go!
Adjectives order: the devil will break a leg
One of those rules that are often overlooked. But it turns out that if there are two or more adjectives near the noun, then they need to be put only in a certain order and not otherwise.
Teachers of the EnglishDom online school of English say that a huge number of students who pass TOEFL or IELTS fall asleep on this rule.
In Russian there is no difference in which order to write adjectives. Therefore, many out of habit do not pay attention to this while talking in English or writing texts. And this is a mistake for which points are removed.
It is impossible to remember the order of adjectives using logic – it only needs to be memorized.
Here’s how adjectives should be placed in English:
1. Evaluative adjectives (or subjective) – usual, lovely, nice, fine, beautiful, horrible.
2. Actual adjectives (or objective). But the objective has its own subordination:
2.1. Adjectives that do not fall into any of the categories below: cheap, expensive, well-known.
2.2. Size, shape, age, color – big, small, tiny, short, round, old, young, yellow, red.
2.3. Origin – Arabic, Russian, Spanish.
2.4. Material – wooden, plastic, silk, leather.
3. A noun in the form of an adjective – sports, coffee.
She was a beautiful (1), tall (2.1), thin (2.1), young (2.1), black-haired (2.1), Scottish (2.3) woman. – She was a beautiful, tall, slender young black-haired Scottish girl.
And then immediately opens up a whole bunch of nuances that students remember very hard.
To begin with, the numeral should in any case be in front of the whole adjective array. It’s easy with that.
There are also no problems with evaluative adjectives – this is a subjective opinion.
Extra-category – also not difficult. In fact, these are adjectives that are very close to evaluative, but in fact they are not.
“Cheap” describes the price, that is, fact. But the price can also be subjective. For someone it’s cheap, but for someone it’s expensive.
Well-known describes the degree of fame. But for different groups, the fame of something will be different.
If you are not sure, then just put such an adjective after the evaluative – and there will be happiness.
Further even harder. Because linguists essentially have no consensus. Some believe that adjectives of size, shape, age and color are equal to each other and if there are several, then they can be put in any order. Others argue that order is required: size, shape, age and color.
We advise you to nevertheless adhere to a clear order.
Double denial: not possible, but if you really want to, then you can
English teachers all speak as one: double negation in English cannot be used.
Actually not really.
In spoken language, everyone cares. Double negation is used very actively.
– I didn’t see nothing. “I have not seen anything.”
To say it right, you need to formulate a sentence with one negation:
– I saw nothing. “I have not seen anything.”
– I didn’t see anything “I have not seen anything.”
The main problem is that in English, as in mathematics, minus to minus should give a plus. That is, in standard English, the phrase “I didn’t see nothing” would mean not “I did not see anything,” but the exact opposite: “I saw something.”
To avoid such a double interpretation, double negation is not used in standard English. After all, what is the meaning of the phrase, if it is not clear what exactly you want to say with it?
But in slang formats and in friendly conversations – you are always welcome. This, on the contrary, is considered quite an acceptable tool for spoken English.
Moreover, it is actively used in culture. Remember Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”.
We don’t need no education. – We do not need any education.
We don’t need no thought control. – We do not need any control of thoughts.