Enumeration of Adjectives (with Examples Showing Comma Usage)

Enumeration of Adjectives

Using more than one adjective consecutively is known as enumeration of adjectives.

Examples of Enumeration of Adjectives

Here are some examples of enumeration of adjectives:
  • a small feminine hand
  • thick, acrid, poisonous smoke

Commas between Adjectives

Writers are sometimes unsure when to use commas with multiple adjectives. The rules about using commas (and conjunctions, usually the word and) in a list of adjectives are very relaxed:

For TWO adjectives:
  • vast, inhospitable moor (with a comma)
  • vast and inhospitable moor (with and)
  • vast inhospitable moor (with nothing)
For THREE or more adjectives:
  • vast, inhospitable, windy moor (commas between)
  • vast, inhospitable and windy moor
    (comma(s) between and then and )
  • (With this style, follow your convention; i.e., put a comma before and if you advocate the Oxford Comma.)
  • vast inhospitable windy moor (nothing between)
  • vast inhospitable and windy moor (nothing and then and)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited and printed to create exercise worksheets.

See Also

Take a test on the enumeration of adjectives What are adjectives? What are compound adjectives? Commas in lists Compound adjectives Demonstrative adjectives Enumeration of adjectives Indefinite adjectives Interrogative adjectives Predicate adjectives Participles Possessive adjectives