Which category of adjectives would "unique" and "only" (as in "only child") fall under? I'm asking with regards to where it would fit in terms of the adjective order on this graph.

For example, would I say "The unique small house" or "The small unique house" or even "The small, unique house"?

  • 2
    Only is a quantifier; it has own syntax. Unique is a descriptive adjective made from a quantifier. Which scale of adjective order would you like to place it on? Apr 1 '21 at 19:14
  • 3
    As unique means the only one of its kind, I think it would always come before any other adjectives. "This unique little house is..." Apr 1 '21 at 19:38
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    There are several variants of the 'Royal Order of Adjectives', and linguists who think they're all too broad-brush to be ultimately useful. If you're after peripheral cases, try 'mere' and the adjective-or-is-it 'galore'. Apr 1 '21 at 19:56
  • 2
    Since the adjective "only" modifies NPs (noun phrases), it follows that it occurs at the beginning of the NP, before other modifiers.
    – BillJ
    Apr 2 '21 at 6:39
  • 2
    It could be argued that 'unique' is a determiner like 'two' or 'only' and therefore comes before the adjectives. If it's not a determiner then it's an opinion adjective so it comes in the first category after the determiners anyway. Saying "only unique ..." is right whichever you choose but it does lay you open to charges of tautology.
    – BoldBen
    Apr 4 '21 at 1:17

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