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Which is correct "A huge unattractive block of flats" or "An unattractive huge block of flats". What is the word "huge" - an opinion or a size?

marked as duplicate by anongoodnurse, Ronan, Chenmunka, FumbleFingers, Robusto Sep 17 '14 at 14:36

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Google Books Ngram comes to the rescue, and suggests that the following phrases: "huge unattractive building" and a simpler version "ugly big building" are not recorded. On the other hand, big ugly building and huge ugly building are both cited.

Google NGram showing that 'huge unattractive building' and 'ugly big building' are not found.

This doesn't exclude the possibility of using the adjective unattractive to describe a block of flats or an apartment building (AmEng), it's just less common, and rarely used in conjunction with other adjectives.

Google NGram of American English starting in 1960 showing much higher use of 'ugly building' than 'unattractive' building.


In both the sentences, huge should be acting as an adjective for the block of flats (being used as a second adjective). However, in the first sentence, if you want to use "huge" as an opinion, use "hugely" and it will act as an adverb for the word 'unattractive'.

  • Never knew that huge is also an adverb. – Vilmar Sep 17 '14 at 10:52

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