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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (July 8, 2007)

Commas with Adjectives: The "And" Test

Did you know that you can check for a required adjective when using two (or more) before a noun?

To do so, rewrite to see if an "and" is required.

For example: "My friend is a lonesome, depressed person." Rewrite as, "My friend is a person who is lonesome and depressed." Note that one cannot write the second sentence without the "and."

Sometimes, common nouns include an adjective. Examples of this are "income tax" or "filing cabinet." With these noun/adjective combinations a comma is not required when adding another adjective.

For example: "My old filing cabinet has a broken drawer."




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