Is the phrase "my big blue eyes" correct?

If the words big and blue are describing eyes, shouldn't there be an "and" in-between the two?

When is it mandatory to use "and?"

  • 1
    I edited your question to say phrase. "My big blue eyes" is not a complete sentence on its own. – snailplane Aug 10 '14 at 8:56

"My big blue eyes" is correct, because size adjectives ("big" in this case) must come before color adjectives ("blue" in this case).

"and" isn't frequently used when writing several adjectives, you don't need a word to link them, they must be written just one after the other. It could be used when writing coordinate adjectives, but in general a "," (comma) is used to separate them, and the "and" is used just as a one of the rules needed to figure out if they are actually coordinate adjectives, so in that case you can put a comma between them. Examples:

In addition, their breathtakingly cruel and callous actions also led to a tribute plaque.
Obama stands accused of giving stuffy , (comma) cliche-ridden graduation speeches.

As far as I know, there's not a formal definition to describe when it's mandatory.
But here are some cases where an "and" between adjectives is commonly used:

When using "to be" + "both" / "at once":

Salads are both tasty and delicious.

Salads are at once adj1, adj2, adj3 and adj4

When using "such a":

Have you ever seen such a big and thin pizza?

  • Does this mean I can write both "big blue eyes" and "big and blue eyes?" – davis Aug 11 '14 at 23:54
  • 1
    This particular phrase using the "and" without a context would sound quite rare and even more when writting. Probably it's not strictly wrong, but without a context that worth the use of "and", for example, to emphatize, it would sound quite unnatural. – Alejandro Veltri Aug 12 '14 at 9:48

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.