comma with adjective: hot soapy water

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Senior Member
English (UK)
Hi Everyone,

Would you say that 'hot soapy water' uses co-ordinate adjectives and therefore needs a comma between hot and soapy, or would you say the sentence uses cumulative adjectives and therefore needs no comma? I am trying to understand cumulative adjectives and finding it a bit tricky!

I have found a sentence in the Oxford dictionary which uses 'warm soapy water' and am therefore leaning towards the cumulative adjectives answer, but would appreciate some other opinions. :)

Thank you in advance!
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    My understanding about two adjectives together is that you can either have a comma or not. I suppose if you mean soapy water that is warm (as opposed to water that is warm and soapy) you shouldn't use the comma.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    When in school I was not given the option of choosing as Nat was apparently. We had to have a comma.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    A comma is needed if the adjectives apply separately to the noun:

    A bright, green light is a green light that is bright. Here, the comma can be seen as a replacement for 'and'.
    A bright green light is a light that is bright green (often 'bright-green light'.)

    The comma is used to avoid ambiguity and is not always needed. I doubt yours needs one as there is no real/important ambiguity.
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