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I am writing a cover letter for a job application. The full sentence is

I realise I have a lot to learn, which is why I am looking for a place where I will have the opportunity to work closely with other, more experienced teachers."

Do I need a comma separating "other" and "more experienced", like in a string of adjectives?

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  • While I have seen it written with a comma, it's far more common to omit it.
    – Julia
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 11:05

2 Answers 2

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Given the context, you want to say that you are a teacher who is not necessarily experienced and want to work with more experienced teachers. In this case, other and more experienced are coordinate adjectives (adjectives of same rank), i.e., both directly modify teachers. Semantically it would also be possible to write:

more experienced, other teachers

Thus a comma is appropriate and helps reading as it clarifies what you want to say and contrasts it from the following.

If, on the other hand, you want to express that you are an experienced teacher and want to work with teachers who are also experienced, other and more experienced are not coordinate adjectives: More experienced modifies teachers and other modifies more experienced teachers. You cannot exchange the adjectives as above as it would not state that you are also an experienced teacher. You cannot switch other and more experienced as above and would not use a comma.

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  • Another way to think of this: if an adjective modifies just the noun, then a comma is required. If an adjective modifies the noun and any other adjectives that precede it, then no comma should be included. In the case of "to work closely with other, more experienced teachers," the comma makes it clear that "other" refers only to "teachers." In the case of "to work closely with other more experienced teachers," the lack of a comma makes it clear that "other" refers to "more experienced teachers."
    – user66965
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 19:50
  • @surlawda: That’s more or less what I wrote. Or do you think I should make that aspect more prominent?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 20:44
  • I meant only to take what you said and put it in slightly different terms. I teach grammar, and find that explaining the same thing in different ways can really help to clarify matters. I agree with your explanation entirely. I only meant to use slightly different language to give it a more general application--i.e., what do you want to modify, a noun, or a particular instance of that noun (one that's already been modified)?
    – user66965
    Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 21:17
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I think two commas would be good, not one as suggested:

"...other, more experienced, teachers."

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