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Select the correct order of the adjectives in these sentences.


He invited that ___ lady to dinner.
young beautiful
beautiful young
Answer beautiful young


These are ___ products.
excellent agricultural
agricultural excellent
Answer excellent agricultural


Why can't you wear your ___ dress tonight?
pink silk
silk pink
Answer pink silk


The boy needs ___ balls for that activity
ten cotton small
ten small cotton
Answer ten small cotton


I've booked that ___ table on the corner.
big square
square big
Answer big square


Mary's husband gave her a ___ vase.
porcelain French
French porcelain
Answer French porcelain


He broke Mother's ___ milk jug.
green old
old green
Answer old green


My brother wants to meet that ___ girl.
tall Japanese
Japanese tall
Answer tall Japanese


What do you plan to do with these ___ bottles?
empty wine
wine empty
Answer empty wine


That ___ woman needs help.
old foreign
foreign old
Answer old foreign


There are two ___ dresses in her closet.
red beautiful
beautiful red
Answer beautiful red


Tom never lets his sister drive his ___ car.
sports expensive
expensive sports
Answer expensive sports


When traveling to Peru, make sure you visit the ___ ruins.
ancient Inca
Inca ancient
Answer ancient Inca


She sells ___ cookies.
delicious chocolate
chocolate delicious
Answer delicious chocolate


The room was decorated with ___ balloons.
red big
big red
Answer big red

Sometimes you need to use two or more adjectives to describe something or someone. Part of becoming fluent in English is knowing which order to use these adjectives in. Choose the most natural-sounding response:


1. He was wearing a ________ shirt.
dirty old flannel
flannel old dirty
old dirty flannel

2. Pass me the ________ cups.
plastic big blue
big blue plastic
big plastic blue

3. All the girls fell in love with the ________ teacher.
handsome new American
American new handsome
new handsome American

4. I used to drive ________ car.
a blue old German
an old German blue
an old blue German

5. He recently married a ________ woman.
young beautiful Greek
beautiful young Greek
beautiful Greek young

6. This is a ________ movie.
new Italian wonderful
wonderful Italian new
wonderful new Italian

7. She is a ________ supermodel.
beautiful slim Brazilian
Brazilian beautiful slim
slim Brazilian beautiful

8. It's in the ________ container.
large blue metal
blue large metal
blue metal large

9. He sat behind a ________ desk.
big wooden brown
big brown wooden
wooden big brown

10. She gave him a ________ vase.
small Egyptian black
black Egyptian small
small black Egyptian


Nouns Combinations




Words can be combined to form compound nouns. These are very common, and new combinations are invented almost daily. They normally have two parts. The first part tells us what kind of object or person it is, or what its purpose is. The second part identifies the object or person in question. Compound nouns often have a meaning that is different, or more specific, than the two separate words.

First part: type or purpose Second part: what or who Compound noun
police man policeman
boy friend boyfriend
fish tank water tank
dining table dining-table

You have noticed that the compound noun can be written either as a single word, as a word with a hyphen, or as two words. There are no clear rules about this. A good rule of thumb is to write the most common compound nouns as one word, and the others as two words.

The elements in a compound noun are very diverse parts of speech.


Compound elements Examples
noun + noun bedroom water tank motorcycle printer cartridge
noun + verb rainfall haircut train-spotting
noun + adverb hanger-on passer-by
verb + noun washing machine driving licence swimming pool
verb + adverb lookout take-off drawback
adverb + noun onlooker bystander
adjective + verb dry-cleaning public speaking
adjective + noun greenhouse software redhead
adverb + verb output overthrow upturn input


Stress is important in pronunciation, as it distinguishes between a compound noun and an adjective with a noun. In compound nouns, the stress usually falls on the first syllable.


  • a 'greenhouse = place where we grow plants (compound noun)
  • a green 'house = house painted green (adjective and noun)
  • a 'bluebird = type of bird (compound noun)
  • a blue 'bird = any bird with blue feathers (adjective and noun)




Date: 2015-12-11; view: 2745

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Decide which parts of speech are the underlined words | Match a word in A with a word in B to make a new noun. Then fill in the gaps in the sentences below the table with a compound noun from the table.
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