Confusion between To Comma or Not to Comma

Commas cause confusion. I think we all agree. It doesn’t matter if we write novels, essays, articles, blogs or posts. Even English teachers sometimes have problems. And while the comma might be a small piece of punctuation, there’s a pretty big punch.

The misuse of commas can bring more than just your grammar chaos. It can play with the meaning and context of your message. From what you are trying to say. Think of your website as a street. The commas in the wrong places are the speed reducers to slow down the journey. But the commas in the right places pave the way for a clear, smooth ride.

So we will go back to where we broke up. If you missed the beginning of this series and are wondering, or a short return back and want to read the previous posts here: comma or No comma In Part 1 and comma or No comma In Part 2.

Note: At the end of this post you will find a short list of comma-referenced pages.


An adjective has an important task – to change the noun. Editing means just describing. Commas help adjectives in.

Coordination of adjectives (this need for commas)

Coordination of adjectives to also describe the same name. Both carry the same weight. There can be two or more, and we always use a comma to separate them.

  • That’s right, Maria is a gathering,ungrateful teenager.
  • Wrong: Maria is an ungrateful bad teenager.

Evil and ungrateful both describe the same names of adolescents. It’s a teenage gathering. And she is an ungrateful teenager. Because even the two, we will add a comma between the two adjectives to add this show. And we could think about sending Maria to boarding school.

Side note: Make sure you don’t have a happy comma, and one between the last adjective and the stuck noun. There is more of a problem with the three adjectives than two. See below. But as a single descriptor, we do not want to separate the adjective from the noun it describes. And that’s what to do to separate commas.

  • That’s right: Mark is a villainous, ungrateful, rude teenager.
  • dummy: Mark is a villainous, ungrateful, rude teenager.

Quite simple, right? Now that you have written the coordination of adjectives, let’s talk about cumulative adjectives.

Cumulative adjectives (you don’t need commas)


Describing cumulative adjectives is not the same noun. In numbers, it is cumulative things like build, add, increase. Adjective cumulative means that descriptors do not have the same weight. For this reason, you do not need a comma. We don’t want to separate you.

  • Correct: She was wearing a bright purple headband.
  • Wrong: She was wearing a bright, purple headband.

The adjective to the next noun (in purple), binds with this noun, and a unit (purpleheadband).

That’s funny, I know. But if the latter adjective and the noun are considered as a “unit” of thought, it helps to clarify what they do cumulated adjectives. If purpleheadband is a unit, you can not use commas. It is glued.

The first adjective in the series (bright) is to describe the whole unit (purpleheadband). It is clear purpleheadband.

Take a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and try again.

  • True: the architect has designed plans for a unique custom cabin.
  • Wrong: the architect drew up plans for a unique, individual cabin.

It is not a unique and individual cabin. It is a unique customcabin. Custom and described a cabin to a single unit.

Still confused? Need a little more help? There are two tricks that will tell you exactly when you need comma and when not. It’s about keeping the meaning of the judgement.

Say YES to the comma if you CAN:

1. Adjectives reverse the meaning of change

  • That’s right: I’m round, high uphill.
  • Correct: I’m climbing on the high towers of the hill.

As they write, it is both a round and a high hill.

2. add the word ” and ” between adjectives and add them to the meaning of the change

  • That’s right: I’m round and high uphill.
  • That’s right: I’m on top and the towers of the hill are mounted.

The judgements are shown in both directions of meaning.

Say NO to the comma if you CAN NOT:

1. Adjectives reverse the meaning of change

  • Wrong: they lived in a brown shingle house.

That’s funny. Can you listen to him too?

2. add the word ” and ” between adjectives and add them to the meaning of the change

  • Wrong: they lived in a brown shingle house.

The same here.

Do you like this step?

Purdue Owl (one of the references at the end I will share) is used instead.

  • True: they lived white in a half-timbered building.

The two reviews above we see:

(Reversing the adjectives), It’s not a White House framework.

(add “and” between adjectives), it’s not black and white at home.

But it is a white frame house.

Size, color, number

Most adjectives, size, color and reference number are cumulative and uncoordinated. This just means – do not use a comma.

  • That’s right: my four new white blouses are the same size.
  • Wrong: My four new white blouses are the same size.

Try to present newwhiteblouses as a unit to describe the four. Try not to ask why someone needs four white shirts. Red or black, maybe. But who knows? Eh.

Side note: Be sure to use adjectives like “light blue”.”

Why? Because light can mean” not heavy “or” pale “.”

  • True: you pulled a blue coat.

In this regard, does not refer to the light on the dress. It refers to the weight of it. The light has changed the blue lacquer as a unit.

  • True: you pulled a blue coat.

In this context, light refers to the color, we will use the hyphen to illustrate this.

Oxford commas

The dratted Oxford comma, also known as the comma series has become known in the world of challenged writing. Some authors hate it. Others are dying on a hill. But either way, the Oxford comma is currently the right way, For the elements of the judgement rhythm, For the meaning of the judgement make it clear.

Let me show you why.

  • That’s right: Elena loves the kitchen, her family and her dog.

This means that she likes to cook three things, family, dog.

  • Wrong: Elena cooks really love her family and her dog.

That is, it will please your family and your dog. A good thing to know before accepting your dinner invitation.

  • That’s right: We, the neighbors, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift guests.

That means we have our neighbors, and Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift guests.

  • Wrong: we invited neighbors Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift.

This means that the neighbors who invited us are Blake and Taylor. How exciting! Do you think they are present?

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