In my country,our teachers teach us that we should use comma "," in many situations. Such as,the situation we mention at least three words in the same part of speech in a sentence. Like the sentence typed below:

My favorite food is hamburger","French fries,and fried chicken.

However,I usually see sentences like the one mentioned below.

The tranquil lack is surrounded by lofty","snow-capped mountains.

The sentence doesn't include at least the three words in the same part of speech,but it have comma before the adjective "snow-capped". So,is the comma used above grammatically correct?

  • The two uses of the comma are different. In the first, you have a list. "Alice likes A, B, C, and D." In the second, you have two adjectives together. "Lofty, snow-capped mountains." By the way, commas are more of a writing device than actual grammar rules. For example, many people write a list without the final comma: "Alice likes A, B, C and D." This difference is only in writing. You can't actually hear any spoken difference. – Brandin Oct 20 '18 at 7:26
  • @Brandin thanks for your useful information. Yeah, you're right. It doesn't matter how to use comma when we chat in English. But,it may matter when it comes to English writing. Thus,you mean the comma can be used between adjectives even though only two different words are in the sentence, right? And, is it okay for other parts of speech? – Chang yo Oct 20 '18 at 7:57
  • By the way,the word is a kind of adjective,verb,noun, preposition or etc. Is this called"the part of speech"? – Chang yo Oct 20 '18 at 8:03
  • You might consider disregarding your teacher's advice of counting "the number of words" as a rule for placing a comma. The structure of the sentence is much more important. Another way you can think of a comma is that it is a place where you could potentially pause while speaking. In your last sentence By the way, is this called the part of speech? You can pause right after "by the way" if you were speaking. You could wait several seconds if you wanted, and then continue your sentence, and it would still make sense. But if you paused after "the" it would feel incomplete. "By the ..." – Brandin Oct 20 '18 at 9:38
  • @Brandin oh, finally, I know what you said. So,it is just a pause when we take. Thanks for your answer.:) – Chang yo Oct 21 '18 at 16:28

A comma has a special meaning when separating two adjectives both modifying the same noun. Using a comma shows that both nouns apply equally to the noun, just like when using "and".

A big, black cat.


A big and black cat.

However, if there was a small black cat, someone could say,

That small black cat is not mine. Mine is a big black cat.

In this case we would not use a comma, because "big" specifies which type of "black cat".

  • So,this kind of usage is often seen between two adjectives,but not other kinds of the parts of speech. Is it right? – Chang yo Oct 23 '18 at 23:59
  • @Chang yo, that is correct. I can't think of anything else quite like this. – Tashus Oct 24 '18 at 11:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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