I saw this picture on Instagram about Adjective Word Order in English.
I’m posting it here for two reasons:
- It could be useful for people struggling with English.
- It’s a great reminder that learning grammar rules really isn’t necessary. As a native speaker, I had no idea this order existed. And I don’t think I was ever taught this.
What’s everyone else’s thoughts?
I knew there was a rule like that but unfortunately I forgot many of them.
I think studying grammar is important, however, in this particular scenario, I have to say that when I need to decide those adjectives order I use that specific scientific approach: “if it sounds good or not…”.
A lot about languages come from the core “sound” or “feeling” to the language we are using or studying. But we don’t know exactly how it works and we have no idea on how to teach it.
The more you learn the language or live in the target country, the better you become at it and at one point you just feel and understand something more subtle about the language. When you reach this scenario, you don’t need to know many grammar rules because you get what to do.
But it is not always like that. Not all grammar rules can be overridden like this.
I find grammar study is very useful, but unfortunately I find it a tad boring, so I very rarely do it. Whenever I do it, I often discover something new and think, “Oh… I’ve been making this mistake all along! That makes sense now!”
However, I think it’s only useful, when the grammar ‘rules’ are reasonably simple. Once you get into the very complicated exception of the rules for exceptions, it just becomes too much.
I remember Hermann’s German Grammar and Usage had a huge list of ‘rules’ of how to know which gender a noun was. Then these ‘rules’ were right only in 80% of cases or something for masculine nouns… It just seems excessive. These ‘rules’ were written after people were ‘playing’ the game for millennia, so they are not really rules per se, but rather commonly observed patterns proposed into theories. If the theories get super complicated, how am I meant to remember them and apply them on the fly as I’m trying to speak? It might just be better to rote learn these patterns and intituively apply them. At least for the complicated theories anyways.