Coordinate Adjectives

Some people are confused about what to do with two or more adjectives that come in front of a noun. Most often, nothing is required. Sometimes a hyphen is required. Sometimes a comma is required between the adjectives. Then these are called coordinate adjectives. Coordinate Adjectives: When two or more adjectives come in front of a noun and modify it with equal emphasis or equal value, they are called coordinate adjectives. Coordinate adjectives are separated from each other with a comma. For this comma to be correct, the adjectives must modify more or less the same quality of the noun; that is, they are more or less synonyms. ...He was a genuine, down-to-earth kind of guy. ...She used effective, valuable contributions. ...He is a competent, efficient employee. A test to check to see whether this comma is correct is to reverse the order of the adjectives. If the order is absolutely arbitrary -- that is, it does not matter which one comes first -- the comma is needed. ...It had been a difficult, taxing day. ...It had been a taxing, difficult day. ...I would say he is a handsome, attractive man. ...I would say he is an attractive, handsome man. Another way to check is to insert the word and in between the two words. If the words make sense and again the order doesn’t matter, use a comma between the two words. ...He had an elegant and polished air about him. ...He had a polished and elegant air about him. ...He had a polished, elegant air about him. ...He had an elegant, polished air about him. Happy punctuating! Margie