Coordinate and Noncoordinate Adjectives Exercise (507)

In each sentence, delete the comma if it is not required.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: The disgruntled, former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist promised to build nuclear weapons for Venezuela.
Correct : The disgruntled former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist promised to build nuclear weapons for Venezuela.

"Disgruntled" modifies "former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist"—it is not parallel with "former," though they are both adjectives—so no comma is required.

2.
Original: Some companies hand out lavish, $20,000 bonuses.
Correct : Some companies hand out lavish $20,000 bonuses.

"Lavish" refers to "$20,000 bonuses," not just "bonuses," so a comma should not separate "lavish" and "$20,000."

3.
Original: The hot, dry wind blew across the parched plain.
Correct : The hot, dry wind blew across the parched plain.

"Hot" and "dry" are equivalent—you could write "dry, hot wind" instead—so a comma should separate them.

4.
Original: She is a celebrated, singer-songwriter whose influences include jazz and rhythm and blues.
Correct : She is a celebrated singer-songwriter whose influences include jazz and rhythm and blues.

"Celebrated" modifies "singer-songwriter," so no punctuation should intercede.

5.
Original: The brutal, malicious attack has left neighbors stunned and fearful.
Correct : The brutal, malicious attack has left neighbors stunned and fearful.

"Brutal" and "malicious" are interchangeable, so a comma should set them off from each other.

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