There are some of English grammar rules that all native English speakers know—but don’t realize they know.
Fear not, because Twitter user Matthew Anderson, editor of BBC Culture, posted an excerpt from a book this week showing off one of these secret rules.
Apparently, every native speaker sticks to it without even being aware of it:
Things native English speakers know, but don’t know we know: http://pic.twitter.com/Ex0Ui9oBSL
— Matthew Anderson (@MattAndersonBBC) September 3, 2016
It’s a rule for the order of adjectives in a sentence.
The proper order for adjectives is: opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose, noun.
And if you get the order wrong, you’re likely to sound a little nuts.
The excerpt reads:
“…you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”
But if you were to write “A rectangular little French whittling silver green old lovely knife,” it sends the mind of the reader reeling.
This weird fact received over 42k retweets and 61k likes on Twitter, so people were dying to know where the excerpt came from.
— TEDx Penn (@TEDxPenn) March 18, 2016
As it happens, it’s from a book called “The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase,” written by British author Mark Forsyth and published in 2013.
So the next time you hear someone talk about their “square Spanish used clay purple big clock,” go ahead and mail them a copy of Forsyth’s book.
They didn’t get the memo.
The post Here’s the Tricky Grammar Rule You Use Every Single Day But Probably Never Thought About appeared first on Independent Journal Review.
Source: independent journal
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