Order of adjectives

The order of adjectives has always been one of my favorite things to teach. Don't ask me why but it is just fun playing around with them, changing the order, scrambling them. and seeing what sounds good.

A point to remember is that the English language likes the number three. We like to have at most 3 clauses. And the same holds true for adjectives. Of course we sometimes use more adjectives but in general 3 in a row is quite fine. 

Look at the pictures below.  Which one do you think is correct and can you make a "rule" about adjective order? Say them aloud. If you said, "Pretty, little,  things" you are correct. Now add a color. Let's use the word "green". Where would that word go? And if you put it at the end, you are correct again. "Pretty, little, green, things". So what are the  guidelines? Well, we put global adjectives first: pretty, fantastic, wonderful etc. Then size: big, little, tiny. And our third adjective is color. So for the next few days try playing with adjectives and see what other guidelines you can come up with.  And please, don't take it too seriously!

Welcome/Pronunciation tip/Thank you


Welcome to the English Over Easy Blog. In this space I plan to do a little of everything: give some tips on writing, grammar, listening, and pronunciation, and TOEL. You may see tips on books, movies, and tv shows that will help your English. 

Pronunciation tip: Months

This tip is worth thousands of dollars. Well I am joking but it is a good one all the same.

We use the word "months" a lot. As in "I'll see you in a few months." " I was in Berkeley for 6 months."

It is hard to pronounce correctly because  you have the N, TH, and S all coming together. The solution that most non native speakers employ is to forget about the S. But people that is not a good idea. The final S in English is always important. I repeat. The final S is always important.

So....What to do? My solution is to forget the TH sound.  Pronounce it MONTS. Really. No one will ever hear that you have omitted the TH. And by leaving the TH out you don't have to do acrobatics with your tongue! Try it. MONTS. Now doesn't that feel good! 

Thank You

Thank you to Nancy Friedman of  Wordworking for naming help. To my students all over the world who gave advice and encouragement. To my teaching colleagues from whom i have learned so much. To Jim B for help in deciphering the ins and outs of SquareSpace. This was my first attempt at creating a web site and much to my surprise it was actually fun. To Emily Jan for design advice. To Anna S for layout and content suggestions. To Nora C-B, Eoin C-B, Ralph E, Joanna D. for editing help. And to Dan Piraro  of Bizarro fame for allowing me to use this totally perfect cartoon.

bizarro comic.jpg