Which is correct:

She is married to a tall broad-shouldered man, or She is married to a broad-shouldered tall man?


  • 3
    In the variant of the 'Royal Order of Adjectives' given here, size comes before shape. Of course, you then have to decide (1) whether to count 'broad-shouldered' as size [b] or shape, and (2) how much faith to put into the ROoAdjs. I've seen different lists (ie orders), and articles dealing with failures of the particular list suggested. // I'd certainly choose your first order here; the other sounds unnatural. Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 8:57
  • 1
    ... However, '... broad-shouldered, tall and lean ...' (shape - size - shape?) seems to trip off the tongue better than any of the other 5 permutations. I'd say cadence trumps semanto-syntactic prescriptivism here. Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 10:56
  • Generally speaking, "tall" would come before other adjectives. It would, eg, be "tall red building", not "red tall building".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


tall broad-shouldered man sounds correct compared to broad-shouldered tall man

There is also this list from: http://www.gingersoftware.com/content/grammar-rules/adjectives/order-of-adjectives/

Where I would like believe tall refers to size, and broad-shouldered refers to shape.

  • 1
    I answered in a 'comment' because (1) the bulk of this is duplicated material; (2) I can find no further support for what I judge to be best in this individual example. A Google search give both orderings (the tall, b-s admittedly seems more common), but, especially with three adjectives, the reverse order seems fairly popular. Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 10:46

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