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      • Native Language:
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    In my book there is a part which I have problem with.
    To decide whether modifiers are of equal importance, place and between them. If the menaing of the new phrase is logical, the adjectives are equally important and need to be separated by a comma. If the meaning with and is not logical, the adjectives are not equally important and are not separated by a comma.
    What does the writer mean by "equally important"? Does it mean that they belong to the same group of adjectives like size, shape, opinion. Can you give me an example for both cases?

  1. lauralie2's Avatar
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    Re: adjectives

    Equally important as in both adjectives can stand alone:

    She is a big and beautiful woman.
    She is a big woman.
    She is a beautiful woman.
    She is a big, beautiful woman.

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 66

    Re: adjectives

    Not a teacher.

    Basic sentence:

    Luis eats apples.

    Add modifiers:
    Little Luis always eats green apples.

    The principle that describes this relationship between modifiers and more basic sentence elements is subordination. Subordination means taking a position of lesser importance or rank. When we say a modifier is subordinate to the base element, we mean it has less importance and is dependent upon that more basic element for its claim to a place in the sentence. We can see this by looking at our last example.
    Little Luis always eats green apples.
    When we drop all the modifiers, we still have a sentence that feels complete.
    Luis eats apples.
    But when we drop the base words that the modifiers depend on, we are left with something entirely different.
    Little never green.

    Basic sentence:
    Sally types letters.

    Add coordinate elements:

    Sally and Jane type letters and memos but write-out short notes and signatures.

    This sentence has a compound subject, a compound verb, and two compound complements. In every case the compound elements are coordinate to each other and therefore, because they are of equal importance, may be said to balance.

    Sally and Jane type letters and memos (complement 1) but write-out short notes and signatures (complement 2).

    Basic sentence:
    Fred is a boy.

    Add complement modifiers:
    Fred is a tall and skinny boy.

    Because both subject modifiers are of equal importance:
    Fred is a tall, skinny boy.
    Last edited by jeckel; 09-Oct-2010 at 08:36. Reason: Added: Not a teacher.

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