What Are Coordinate Adjectives? - Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Cumulative Adjectives: Definition, Order & Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Two or More Adjectives
  • 0:22 Using Coordinate Adjectives
  • 1:06 Coordinate vs. Cumulative
  • 1:31 More than 2 Adjectives
  • 1:54 Mixtures
  • 2:10 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we examine the use of coordinate adjectives to describe a noun. Coordinate adjectives are contrasted with cumulative adjectives. The proper comma use for both coordinate and cumulative adjectives is also discussed.

Two or More Adjectives

What is a writer to do when one adjective just isn't enough? When two or more adjectives are used to describe the same noun, the writer must determine if they are coordinate adjectives or cumulative adjectives in order to decide how commas should be used. Let's learn more about the proper usage of coordinate and cumulative adjectives.

Using Coordinate Adjectives

Coordinate adjectives are two or more adjectives that describe the same noun. Coordinate adjectives are equally important and are separated by a comma.

For example:

  • Smart, funny Jaimie quickly advanced as a class leader.

A great way to decide whether or not you need a comma between coordinate adjectives is by asking yourself if the sentence would still make sense if the order of the adjectives were reversed and if the word 'and' would work in the sentence.

For example:

  • Funny and smart, Jaimie quickly advanced as a class leader.

Since this sentence makes sense after the adjectives are reversed and 'and' is put between them, you will use a comma to separate the adjectives when writing the original sentence:

  • Smart, funny Jaimie quickly advanced as a class leader.

Coordinate vs. Cumulative

Adjectives that can neither be reversed nor separated by the word 'and' are called cumulative adjectives.

For example:

  • The purple muscle car out-performed all of the other cars in the race.

'Purple' and 'muscle' are cumulative, not coordinate adjectives because it's awkward and incorrect to say:

  • The muscle and purple car out-performed all of the other cars in the race.

Cumulative adjectives are not separated by commas.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support