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Commas and Coordinate Adjectives

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  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
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Long, Hot Summer

When each of two adjectives modifies the same noun, put a comma between them. As a test, put the word and between the two adjectives. If it fits, then the adjectives are called coordinate adjectives:

It is going to be a long, hot summer. She was a faithful, sincere friend.

Here's the exception: If the first adjective modifies the idea expressed by the combination of the second adjective and the noun, do not use a comma between the two adjectives:

He favored traditional political institutions.

In this example, the expression political institutions is a single idea. Thus, the two adjectives (traditional and political) do not equally modify the single noun. Rather, the first adjective traditional modifies the single unit political institutions.


Previous: Commas and Noun Appositives

Next: Complementary or Antithetical Expressions

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  • Snorlax Memes
    Snorlax Memes
    LikeReply4 years ago
  • Ammar Sanousi
    Ammar Sanousi
    smooth rendering of valuble knowldge , thanks
    LikeReply4 years ago
  • Tara Jackman Nolan
    Tara Jackman Nolan
    Thank-you for this teaching. In the case of the following, then, a comma should be inserted? "Dear, beautiful Rosine..."
    LikeReply 24 years ago
    • Tara Jackman Nolan
      Tara Jackman Nolan
      Or not... Still unsure in this case.
      LikeReply 24 years ago
    • Mathilde Sanz
      Mathilde Sanz
      Tara Jackman Nolan I believe if you are saying that Rosine is both dear and beautiful then, yes, there would be a comma.
      LikeReply4 years ago


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