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I'm trying to construct a relative clause that's deliberately crammed with a lot of info. This is to illustrate to someone the flexibility of relative clauses (versus adjectives).

Here's my independent clause: I met a girl...

Now, I need to make a relative clause that starts with "who" and contains every one of the following details:

  1. beautiful

  2. smart

  3. tall

  4. has big, brown eyes

  5. has long, black hair

Now my question is: how many ands do I use? Also, at which points do I place the commas?

This is what I came up with on my own:

I met a girl who is beautiful, smart and tall, and has big, brown eyes and long, black hair.

Should there be an "and" before "has"? In fact, are all my "ands" and commas placed correctly? I would like to avoid making two separate sentences.


P.S. I hope this particular example doesn't sound sexist to anybody.

  • Delete the first "and". The commas are fine. – FumbleFingers Aug 19 '12 at 18:19
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    In many instances, it is a matter of style. The rhetorical device of using many conjunctions in close succession is called polysyndeton. – Cameron Aug 19 '12 at 18:32
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    I like the 'and' between smart and tall, but would change to 'with' instead of 'and has'. I would also remove the commas after big and long: 'I met a girl who is beautiful, smart and tall, with big brown eyes and long black hair.' – Jim Aug 19 '12 at 18:50
  • I'm uncomfortable with the smart coming between two 'appearance' adjectives, and for the same reason prefer Jim's choice of with. I'd rewrite thus: I met a girl who is beautiful (with big brown eyes and long black hair), tall - and smart. Sadly, this rewrite doesn't fit your original purpose. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 19 '12 at 19:17
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    Another way to fix Edwin's concern is to lead off with smart: I met a girl who is smart, tall, and beautiful, with big brown eyes and long black hair. Or, you could say all this and so much more by saying, "I met a girl with a short skirt and a lonnnnng jacket." Piece of CAKE. :^) – J.R. Aug 19 '12 at 21:46
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I would say:

I met a girl who is smart, tall, and beautiful with big brown eyes and long black hair.

Adjective order could vary ...

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I met a girl who is beautiful, smart, tall, [and]* has big brown eyes and long black hair.

is how I would write it.

*optional

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