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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #1

    mud and straw

    A mud and straw house.
    Is it possible to write it with a comma?
    A mud, straw house.

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    #2

    Re: mud and straw

    No - those two words are like "bricks and mortar" or "ham and eggs"
    They are considered as one because they are used together so often.

    You could say A large, brown, mud and straw house.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #3

    Re: mud and straw

    Thanks, susiedqq.
    In your sentence, are the commas a must?

    A large brown stone building
    or
    A large, brown, stone building

    Is there any clear rules how to put commas in adjective strings?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: mud and straw

    Personally I would put a comma after 'large' but not after 'brown'.

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    #5

    Re: mud and straw

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    No - those two words are like "bricks and mortar" or "ham and eggs"
    They are considered as one because they are used together so often.

    You could say A large, brown, mud and straw house.
    If you were to write the sentence like this: A large, brown mud and straw house, the brown is the adjective to the mud only. It would then mean that only the mud is brown, whereas if the comma is left in it indicates that overall the house is brown.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #6

    Re: mud and straw

    Is there any clear rules how to put commas in adjective strings?

    Are there any clear rules........?

    5. Use commas to separate three or more words, phrases, or clauses written in a series.

    The Constitution establishes the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
    The candidate promised to lower taxes, protect the environment, reduce crime, and end unemployment.
    The prosecutor argued that the defendant, who was at the scene of the crime, who had a strong revenge motive, and who had access to the murder weapon, was guilty of homicide.

    6. Use commas to separate two or more coordinate adjectives that describe the same noun. Be sure never to add an extra comma between the final adjective and the noun itself or to use commas with non-coordinate adjectives.

    Coordinate adjectives are adjectives with equal ("co"-ordinate) status in describing the noun; neither adjective is subordinate to the other. You can decide if two adjectives in a row are coordinate by asking the following questions:

    Does the sentence make sense if the adjectives are written in reverse order?
    Does the sentence make sense if the adjectives are written with and between them?
    If you answer yes to these questions, then the adjectives are coordinate and should be separated by a comma. Here are some examples of coordinate and non-coordinate adjectives:

    He was a difficult, stubborn child. (coordinate)
    They lived in a white frame house. (non-coordinate)
    She often wore a gray wool shawl. (non-coordinate)
    Your cousin has an easy, happy smile. (coordinate)
    The 1) relentless, 2) powerful 3) summer sun beat down on them. (1-2 are coordinate; 2-3 are non-coordinate.)
    The 1) relentless, 2) powerful, 3) oppressive sun beat down on them. (Both 1-2 and 2-3 are coordinate.)

    7. Use a comma near the end of a sentence to separate contrasted coordinate elements or to indicate a distinct pause or shift.

    He was merely ignorant, not stupid.
    The chimpanzee seemed reflective, almost human.
    You're one of the senator's close friends, aren't you?
    The speaker seemed innocent, even gullible.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #7

    Re: mud and straw

    Thank you very much, guys.
    David, do you mean by 'equal stutus' that they belong to the same semantic class (e.g. size, shape, colour, etc.)?

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