Example phrase: Which one may be correct?

rich, strong, and fast man, white woman, boy, and girl

Coordinating four nouns "man, woman, boy, and girl" whatever the places of modifiers.

rich, strong, and fast man and white woman, boy, and girl**

The conjunction "and" is coordinating two noun phrases whatever the places of modifiers.

  • The second option might suggest that the "white woman" is rich and strong, while the boy and girl are not. What is actually meant by the sentence? – J. Taylor Jan 23 '18 at 15:29
  • I'm just waiting to see what kind of sentence could ever require this collection to be expressed before I comment any further. – Nigel J Jan 23 '18 at 15:38
  • 3
    You can use as many series of commas as you like in a single phrase or sentence. Taming them to say what you intend, though, that's the trick. – Lawrence Jan 23 '18 at 16:25
  • Is this one list or two? – Spencer Dec 16 '19 at 18:08
  • Also notice you don't typically use "and" in a list of adjectives modifying the same noun. – Spencer Dec 16 '19 at 18:10

There is an option of using semi-colons as higher-level separators but I wouldn't bother with anything as simple as your first example. I might for something like:

rich, ugly, old man; thin, young, white woman; and pretty, poor girl.

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There was a rich, ugly, old man, a thin, young, white woman, and a pretty, poor girl.

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  • Oh, you did it. – Lambie Apr 14 at 17:40

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