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a long sentence

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:42 am
by judytu
"They were all healthy, thoughtless young animals, sleek, graceful, high-spirited, the boys as mettlesome as the horses they rode, mettlesome and dangerous but, withal, sweet-tempered to those who knew how to handle them."

This is a selection from Gone with the Wind. It is a long sentence puzzling me.

Why there is not a comma preceding thoughtless, that is to say, they were all healthy and thoughtless young animals, sleek, graceful, high-spirited?

Re: a long sentence

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:50 am
by Joe
judytu wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:42 am
"They were all healthy, thoughtless young animals, sleek, graceful, high-spirited, the boys as mettlesome as the horses they rode, mettlesome and dangerous but, withal, sweet-tempered to those who knew how to handle them."
Why there is not a comma preceding thoughtless...?
But there IS a comma preceding "thoughtless". 🤔

Re: a long sentence

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:58 am
by judytu
Ah, embarrassing. Why there is a comma but not "and"

Re: a long sentence

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:17 am
by Joe
There is no rule that says that adjectives before a noun have to be separated by "and", except to avoid ambiguity or for two colours, eg:
She was wearing a long, blue and yellow dress.
compare
She was wearing a long, blue, silk dress.

Re: a long sentence

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:24 am
by judytu
Oh I see. Thank you very much.