Coordinate Adjective


Coordinate adjective can be defined as “Coordinate adjectives are adjectives that appear in sequence with one another to modify the same noun”.


Coordinate adjectives are also called as paired adjectives in which two or more adjectives precede and describe the same noun however separately modify the noun.

All the used adjectives are equal in their application to the same noun. We can also say that, neither adjective involve hugely to describe the noun.

The order of adjectives can be scrambled and joined by the use of ‘and’. Each coordinate adjective is separated by the comma.

Examples and Use

Following are some examples showing the proper use of coordinate adjectives in the sentence:

  • In the classroom I found new, thin paper which can be used to make paper boat.
  • The painting shows a brown-haired and blue-eyed child standing alone in the storm.
  • In breakfast I ate two tasty, oversized blueberry muffins.
  • She brought home two dozen, long and heavy bananas.
  • My girl friend is very tall, thin woman.
  • You are very cruel, heartless person.
  • The cuckoo with the thick, bushy tail is flying in the sky.
  • The dark red, beautiful rose flower smells very good.
  • I like very much to eat hot, delicious, pepperoni pizza every weekend.
  • A saw a large, migratory birds today in the park.
  • I don’t like to wear itchy, scratchy sweater as it irritates my cold dry skin.

Rules/Tips to be Followed

Following are some rules and tips which should be followed while using coordinate adjectives in the sentence:

If we use two or more adjectives in the sentence, we should separate them with comma in order to get clarity. We can also replace the comma with “and” as well as reverse the order of adjectives. Such as:

  • Slippery, dangerous roads are common after the snowfall.
  • Slippery and dangerous roads are common after the snowfall.
  • Dangerous, slippery roads are common after the snowfall.

All sentences given above are correct as they follow rules of how to use coordinate adjectives in the sentence. Words ‘slippery’, ‘dangerous’ are interchangeable and they do not carry more weight to describe the noun ‘roads’, thus comma used between them is correct.

  • I love to use pink cashmere shawls in the winter.
  • I love to use cashmere, pink shawls in the winter.
  • I love to use pink and cashmere shawls in the winter.

All the sentences given above are incorrect as they violate the rules of using coordinate adjectives. Adjective words ‘pink’ and ‘cashmere’ are not interchangeable as ‘cashmere’ carries more weight than the ‘pink’ while describing the noun ‘shawls’. Adjectives used in the above sentences are cumulative adjectives and they do not required to get separated through commas.

When more than two adjectives are used in the sentence to describe or modify the same noun, two commas are used between them or word ‘and’ to separate the last adjective. Such as:

  • I wore a pink, full-sleeved, high-neck T-shirt.
  • I wore a pink, full-sleeved and high-neck T-shirt.

Sometimes, two of the three adjectives used become coordinate however one is not. Such as:

  • Seema wore blue, lacey sports shoes.

In the above sentence, the words like ‘blue’ and ‘lacey’ are coordinate, so they are interchangeable and separated using comma or ‘and’. However, word ‘sports’ is not coordinate as it carries more weight in describing or modifying the noun, ‘shoes’.

We need to decide whether coordinate or non-coordinate adjectives are used to describe noun and whether we need to use commas to separate the adjectives or not. We do not need to separate non-coordinate adjectives through commas or other punctuation. You can analyze between coordinate and non-coordinate adjectives through:

When we reverse the order of used adjectives in the sentence and they make sense, they are coordinate, such as:

  • The thin, hungry, thirsty student entered the classroom and took his lunch with friends. (In this sentence, three adjectives ‘thin’, ‘hungry’, ‘thirsty’ are interchangeable and can alter their positions without disturbing the meaning of sentence.

When we use ‘and’ between adjectives and sentence make sense, they are coordinate, such as:

  • A student becomes serious, sincere, and hard working during his final exams.

Whereas, the use of non-coordinate adjectives in the sentence do not follow both of the above tests as they do not require punctuation between them. Such as:

  • Two red sports cars have passed the road. (If we use comma or and between the adjectives, the sentence will lose its sense).

It is not necessary to use comma in order to separate adjectives providing information about shape, size, color, age, religion, national origin, or material. Such as:

  • This little old red brick house has some good memories of my childhood.

Exercises for you

Coordinate adjective exercises given below will help you in analyzing your knowledge about coordinate adjective. Just go through all the details given above about the coordinate adjective and check your skill by doing following exercises for coordinate adjective.

We have used coordinate adjectives in the following sentences; you need to check whether sentences are correct or incorrect:

  1. The disciplined, respectful class listen my lecture very well.
  2. One of my students sang a happy, cheery song.
  3. I hired some employees who are energetic efficient skilled and polite.
  4. Energetic, skilled efficient and polite employees are much in demand.
  5. Class 4th students are very disciplined, punctual and sincere.
  6. My employees are not punctual, and efficient.
  7. I have a cute, attractive and soft puppy.
  8. I don’t know how to make soft, delicious and healthy cookies.
  9. I have a blue, attractive jel pen.
  10. My teacher is very polite, disciplined and strict.

Answers: 1 – correct, 2 – correct, 3 – incorrect, 4 – incorrect, 5 – correct, 6 – incorrect, 7 – correct, 8 – correct, 9 – correct, 10 – correct.

Related Topics:

Interrogative Adjective
Possessive Adjective
Non-coordinate Adjective
Demonstrative Adjective
Adjective of Number

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