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.


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.


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."

  • 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
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    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

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