comma with adjective: and traditional, monarchical forms of

Discussion in 'English Only' started by rubes1, May 24, 2006.

  1. rubes1 Senior Member

    Israel
    United States, English
    When would one use a comma in between adjectives (meaning when you are using more than one adjective)? Which of the cases below actually warrant a comma? I am not so sure. Would the use or removal of the comma change the meaning or emphasis as well? I would like to know the rule please.

    The region remains divided between nationalist-military dictatorships of varying degrees of severity, and traditional, monarchical forms of government...

    The regime is beset by deep-set, structural problems...

    Neither of these forms of governance has succeeded in developing successful, advanced economies or educated, mobile societies.

    Thank you!:)
     
  2. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    As far as I'm concerned, if a comma is not used between traditional and monarchical, then traditional is describing or qualifying monarchical. So you will be describing a traditional monarchy (rather than any other kind). If the comma is used, then you are using two unrelated (grammatically) adjectives: You are describing a form of government that is both traditional (in many ways other than just having a monarchy) and monarchical.
     
  3. rubes1 Senior Member

    Israel
    United States, English
    Thank you. That being the case, the comma is not necessary in the other two examples:

    The regime is beset by deep-set, structural problems...

    Neither of these forms of governance has succeeded in developing successful, advanced economies or educated, mobile societies.


    Are you in agreement with that?

    Thanks once again!


     
  4. emma42 Senior Member

    North East USA
    British English
    If the structural problems themselves are deepset then, no, you don't need the comma.

    I think you do need the commas in the second sentence because each adjective stands alone.

    I should point out that I am not the best grammarian and I really don't want to give you the wrong information. It is possible that someone else might disagree with me. I think I am right, though!
     
  5. Capri New Member

    Sheffield
    Holmfirth, England - English
    I think a good rule of thumb here is to read your sentences out loud. Wherever your voice adds a pause is usually where the commas belong.
     
  6. rubes1 Senior Member

    Israel
    United States, English
    Thank you for your help Emma & Capri!
     

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