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Coordinate and Non-Coordinate Adjectives

Coordinate and Non-Coordinate Adjectives

 Look at these two boys. They are wearing coordinating outfits, outfits that go together.

To coordinate something means to bring multiple pieces together in a way that creates harmony.

You can coordinate a schedule. 
You can coordinate a group of performers for a show. 
You can coordinate outfits for your dance performance.

Similarly, coordinate adjectives are adjectives that go together. You can arrange them in any order and they still make sense.


  • He was a happy, friendly child.
  • He was a friendly, happy child.

In these sentences, happy and friendly are coordinate adjectives. You can put them in any order and they still make sense.

How Do I Know if Adjectives are Coordinate Adjectives?

If you have two or more adjectives in a sentence, there's a simple way to tell whether they're coordinate adjectives. Simply place the word AND between them. 

If the sentence still makes sense, the adjectives are coordinate adjectives.

If the sentence does not make sense, the adjectives are non-coordinate adjectives.

If you add AND and are still not sure, try switching the order of the adjectives.


  • I shared my ice cream with my cute baby sister.
  • I shared my ice cream with my cute AND baby sister.
  • I shared my ice cream with my baby cute sister.

In this case, the sentence does not make sense when the word and is added or when the adjectives are switched.

Can you figure out if the adjectives in these sentences are coordinate or non-coordinate adjectives?

My house is on a dusty dirt road. - non-coordinate adjectives
Let's play a crazy, fun game - coordinate adjectives