It's back to the Comma Rules with #4: When Multiple Adjectives Describe the Same Noun. Adjectives are like chocolate candy: it's hard to stop at one! But when your sentence contains multiple adjectives, how do you separate them? To find out, let's look at a few examples.
Consider the following sentence, with adjectives bolded:
The fat and lazy cat didn't budge from the sofa all day.
That's technically correct, but AND deserves a break now and then. If we let AND walk away from this sentence, we can put a COMMA in her place. With that change, the sentence now looks like this:
The fat, lazy cat didn't budge from the sofa all day. (Much better!)
To reinforce this rule, let's look at one more sentence both ways:
The fast and sleek race car blew past us.
The fast, sleek race car whizzed past us.
Notice how we can switch the adjectives in both of these sentences without changing the meaning? That's how we know to add AND or a COMMA.
When adjectives can't be switched, no AND or COMMA is needed. Here are two examples:
The sprightly old man is still running 5Ks at 90.
You should wear comfortable dress shoes to the party.
Thank you for reading A Spoonful of Grammar! In the spirit of keeping my grammar advice short, sweet, and easily digestible, spoonfuls will be now be posted once a week on Sundays.
Laura Fineberg Cooper