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common way to describe something is to describe the parts of the item and where they are. ď‚ž Good descriptive writers use many adjectives and prepositional phrases to help readers visualize the thing or person that is being described.

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in on at by near nearby above below over under up down around through inside

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outside (of) between beside beyond in front of in back of behind next to on top of within beneath underneath among along against

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These prepositions are most commonly followed by "the" and a noun. Both the speaker and the listener likely know which object is being referred to.


The keys are on the table. (We both know which table.) The post office is next to the bakery. (Not: next to bakery)

Occasionally, prepositions can be used with "a/an." This usually indicates that the speaker knows of the place, but the listener does not.

For example,

I live by a river. (You probably don't know which one.) I live by the river. (You know the river I'm talking about.)


5 true sentences about the location of things or people in your classroom.


My half of our refrigerator is messy and disorganized. On the top shelf sits a box of broken eggs. Old carrots and brown salami share the second shelf with hard green bread and soft lettuce. On the third shelf, leftover pizza lies under a bowl of three-week-old spaghetti. The bottom drawer holds an interesting combination of paper bags of food from McDonald’s and the Chinese Kitchen. A disgusting smelly puddle covers the bottom. My roommate and I are different, but we get along very well.

 Cumulative

 Coordinate

Adjectives  The poor little black dog.

Adjectives  The wet, cold and hungry dog.  The cold, wet, and hungry dog.  The hungry, wet, and cold dog.


adjectives always go before a noun. They MUST be in a particular order. ď‚ži.e. The poor little black dog.

Order of Cumulative Adjectives Kind of adjectives


1. articles, demonstrative pronouns, possessives

A, an, the, this, that, these, those, her, their, Mary’s


Two, fifty, some, many, few

3. opinion

Poor, beautiful, interesting

4. appearance

Size: big/little Shape/length: round, square, short, long Condition: rusty, broken, hungry, wet, cold

5. age, color

Old new young black red blond

6. nationality, religion

European, Asian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish

7. Material, purpose

Silk, wood, cotton, gold, metal, swimming, reading, hiking

8. Noun used as an adjective

Shoe (as in shoe store), wedding (as in wedding dress)

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1. Rarely use more than three adjectives following the markers. 2. Participles, both present (ing) and past (ed), can be adjectives. 3. Don't use commas between the adjectives unless there are two or more in the same category. To test for this, see if "and" could be inserted. When it can, use the conjunction or a comma. Examples: Three vacant, run-down Victorian houses. (Two conditions) John's red and black plaid wool vest. (Two colors) 4. Do not use a comma between the last modifier and the noun. 5. Any adjective may take an intensifier (adverb modifier) such as "too" or "very."

1. There were toys in the middle of the floor. (broken, several, plastic)  __________________________________________  2. Clouds announced an approaching rainstorm. (black, big)  _________________________________________  3. Flags hung from every window. (colorful, rectangular)  _________________________________________  4. Children played on the grass. (green, thick)  _________________________________________  5. I dream about relaxing on a beach. (sand, white, beautiful)  _________________________________________ 

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6. They got married in a church. (stone, small, Italian) _________________________________________ 7. The parents left children with the grandparents while they worked. (young, their, two) _________________________________________ 8. Class has thirty students. (advanced, Mr. Thompson’s, English) _________________________________________ 9. The real estate agent pointed out problems with the house. (minor, several) _________________________________________ 10. Windows were broken. (large, bedroom, four) _________________________________________

Prepositions of location  
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