I recently come across several particular noun phrases/compounds such as

"Automatic emergency light" (as the name of a product)

"the fourth consecutive monthly decline" (as in "Consumers paid 2.1 per cent less for food in January than they did a year earlier, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.")

"another alternative suggested order" (as in "But know that there are times when you can deviate from the order, and there is another alternative suggested order too")

My questions are that:

1/ What types of adjectives are "alternative," "consecutive," and "automatic?" They are neither opinion nor purpose adjectives, so I can't use the traditional OPSASCOMP ordering to sort them out.

2/ How do you know to add "consecutive" before "monthly"? Is it possible to write "another monthly consecutive decline"?

3/ Is there any more detailed descriptions of adjective ordering that can explain the sentences above. As far as I know the most widely known adjective order is that of OPSASCOMP.

  • You may find this discussion at Wordwizard interesting, though perhaps not too helpful, as it tends to expose the inescapable intricacies of any analyses attempted. Mar 6, 2017 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


"Automatic" and "emergency" are purpose adjectives, it seems to me. "Fourth consecutive monthly decline" conveys a lot information without extra words; you could says "another monthly consecutive decline in a series of four" or "a fourth monthly decline in the last six months" (this would suggest a couple of months here and there where there was no decline.

Alternative and suggested modify order.

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