1. He is always helpful, kind towards his colleagues.
  2. He is always helpful and kind towards his colleagues.

Are both sentences correct?

  • 5
    Yes, both are correct, but they have slightly different meanings. Sentence B tells two things about the subject. Sentence A tells one thing about the subject, and then provides further details about that one thing. – J.R. Dec 11 '13 at 11:02

No, only the second sentence is correct. If you are indicating two different states of being (helpful and kind) they have to be differentiated by a conjunction (in this case, "and") to make the sentence grammatically correct.

If the first sentence were spoken, it would require the speaker to provide additional clarification to the listener to describe which adjective s/he is attempting to ascribe to the person in question. That alone makes it grammatically incorrect.

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  • Completely different sentences. Your sentence, although common in literary English, would sound stilted in a spoken conversation. If we are to assume that the questioner is seeking guidance for SPOKEN rather than literary English, then first sentence is not correct. – Mistah Mix Dec 31 '13 at 16:27
  • I think this really answers the OP's question. I strongly suspect that what the original sentence is intending to say is that these are two things that "he" does. Poke's answer is technically correct but probably something of a tangent from the "real" question. – Jay Dec 31 '13 at 17:29

Both sentences are fine, but carry different meaning as J.R. already pointed out in the comments.

He is always helpful, kind towards his colleagues.

The first sentence describes the person primarily as helpful. This is further clarified by saying that he is “kind towards his colleagues”. So the second part actually extends the “helpfulness” described first.

He is always helpful and kind towards his colleagues.

The second sentence describes the person as “helpful and kind”, having both as not necessarily related attributes. These attributes are then both specified to apply “towards his colleagues”, so it’s actually not expressed if the person is also helpful and kind to other people.

A third sentence is possible:

He is always helpful, and kind towards his colleagues.

While this one seems very similar, the “towards his colleagues” now refers to the kindness. So the “helpful” stands alone as one attribute, and “kind towards his colleagues” is the second attribute. As in the second sentence, both are again unrelated to each other.

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I think both are correct, but the first one is used in writing and the second one in speech.

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  • It's not that one sentence is used in writing and one in speech. The two sentences mean slightly different things. See @J.R.'s comment for more information. – godel9 Dec 31 '13 at 16:06

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