English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Suppose we have a sentence at the main page of a translation company's website:

Moscow Translations is a well-known, reliable, secure, translation company, employing skilled specialist translators.

Would the comma after secure be in its rightful place? In the Russian language, it would be an error to put it there.

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, the comma there is incorrect.

What is correct depends on the intended meaning. Is the company secure, or are the translations secure?

If the company is secure, you should say, "Moscow Translations is a well-known, reliable, and secure translation company ..." That is, it is a company that produces translations that is well-known, reliable, and secure. (The comma after "reliable" is optional.)

If the translations are secure, then you'd say, "Moscow Translations is a well-known and reliable secure translation company ..." That is, it is a company that produces secure translations that is well-known and reliable.

Regardless of the intended meaning of "secure" here, you can't mix "well-known" and "reliable" with "translation". Yes, they are all being used as adjectives modifying "company", but "translation" is not the same kind of thing as "well-known" and "reliable". It is more "tightly bound" to "company" than the others.

share|improve this answer

It would be an error in English as well.

I would change it to:

"Moscow Translations is a well-known, reliable and secure translation company employing skilled specialist translators."

share|improve this answer
I would too, Obfuskater, but I wondered if the comma there is a transgression from the grammar standpoint or is it just an awkwardly put yet grammatical sentence. – CowperKettle Jul 15 '14 at 15:10
I'd say it's a grammatical transgression because the list of adjectives characterizing "translation company" ends with "secure." Putting the comma after "secure" would make it looks like "translation" is being used as an adjective. – Obfuskater Jul 15 '14 at 15:24

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.