Grammar Friday

Today’s two grammar tips:

  • If you have a cumulative adjective, don’t insert commas between each adjective. For example, in this sentence, “The two large gray wolves attacked the man,” the words describing the wolves (two large gray) create a cumulative adjective. In this sentence, “The young, attractive, rich woman decided she would marry him,” the adjectives are independent of each other and need commas between them.

    How can you tell the difference? Try inserting the word “and” between each adjective. “The two and large and gray wolves …” makes no sense, so you have a cumulative adjective on your hands. Another test is to try to mix up the adjectives. “The gray, two, large wolves” doesn’t make sense either, so you can be confident that you have a cumulative adjective. The other sentence still works either by inserting “and” or mixing up the adjectives, and the adjectives need commas between them. 

  • The word “I” is never an object. Don’t say, “He asked you and I to come to his office.” The simple test? Just eliminate the other word and see if the sentence sounds right to you. You’d never say, “He asked I to come to his office,” so go with “me” in the first sentence.

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