Commas Between Adjectives

Separate adjectives that each modify a noun independently with commas:

Dr. Skura is a brilliant, demanding teacher.

That creepy, old, abandoned house is now for sale.

Do not separate adjectives that work together to modify a noun:

Linda Hunt won the best supporting actress Oscar for playing a man.

The red bow tie made his old business suit look more lively.


NOTE:
You can substitute and for the commas between independent adjectives:

Dr. Skura is a brilliant and demanding teacher.

That creepy and old and abandoned house is now for sale.

You can also freely rearrange independent adjectives:

Dr. Skura is a demanding, brilliant teacher.

That old, abandoned, creepy house is now for sale.

But if the series of adjectives modify the noun together, placing and between them or rearranging them renders them nonsensical:

Linda Hunt won the best and supporting and actress Oscar for playing a man.

The red and bow tie made his old and business suit look more lively.


Linda Hunt won the actress supporting best Oscar for playing a man.

The bow red tie made his business old suit look more lively.

Commas [ , ]

Page Last Updated: 15 May 2011