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You can also contact me to customize your template, or create a new unique one.

Do I need to put a comma between the new and unique adjectives in this sentence? In my native language (if I am not mistaken) we don't put a comma if the adjectives are of a different type. Not sure about English though, and if it's the case here anyway. Any help would be appreciated!

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  • It depends on the intended meaning. With stacked, or layered, modification (no comma), "one, i.e. template"" is first modified by "unique" to give "unique template", and this in turn is modified by "new" to give "new unique template", i.e. "template that is new by the standards applicable to unique ones". By contrast, with coordinated modification (with a comma), "one" is modified by a coordination of adjectives giving the meaning "template that is both unique and new".
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 12:31
  • See Comma between adjectives .... Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 19:07

1 Answer 1

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If you need a comma is a classic case of "depends!"

Have a look at this blog entry from grammar girl.

The comma rule comes down to the difference between two kinds of adjectives: coordinate adjectives and cumulative adjectives.

...

Just remember that if you can reverse your two adjectives or can place an “and” between them, you need a comma.

So in this case, use a comma.

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  • I object a bit. The Oxford/serial comma is a debated practice, and while it can clarify meaning, rephrasing or reordering a sentence is also a completely valid use-case. The sentence above is a case of "implied information". Say, you rephrase it to: "You can also contact me to customize or create a new unique template." Where [customize] implies an existing template, and the [create] has to carry the new one. Or simply put "an existing" before the or - then of course, i'd argue you'd need a comma. With the Oxford comma, you clarify the subject of the adjective, but it is Not a requirement.
    – Sakatox
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 12:32
  • 2
    @Sakatox The Oxford comma is an optional comma before the word "and" at the end of a list (often nouns), not sequential adjectival modifiers which is what the OP is asking about.
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 12:44
  • It's the same thing - an adjective list. A sequence is a list, the difference is the separator between the elements.
    – Sakatox
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 12:50
  • 3
    @Sakatox I disagree. The Oxford comma is about punctuation; it is always optional, a matter of personal preference, whereas the comma we're talking about here may be obligatory for the meaning of the phrase. Additionally, the Oxford comma is used before the word "and" at the end of a list of three or more items.
    – BillJ
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 13:00
  • There's no rule to not do a two element list of: this, and that, using the Oxford comma. I just did it. I didn't debate the Oxford comma's usage, i debated the accepted answer - as in, you're missing my point.
    – Sakatox
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 13:10

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