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Appositive Apposition - Glossary of Terms


An appositive is the word(s) which follow a noun to rename it or describe it in another way.  Appositives are usually offset with commas, brackets or dashes.


My best friend, Lee, caught a whelk when he was fishing for bass.
              noun      appositive

Dr Pat, the creator of the turnip brew, sold 8 barrels on the first day.
                     appositive of "Dr Pat"

(Apposition: "Lee" is in apposition to "My best friend", and "the creator of the turnip brew" is in apposition to "Dr Pat".)

Interactive example:

Don't leave your shoes there, or my dog, Ollie, will munch them. [show me the appositive]
If the appositive is just additional information (i.e., you could remove it from the sentence without any loss of meaning), then it should be offset from the remainder of the sentence (usually with commas).

Jane Smith, who swam 100m in under a minute, wins the award for most improved swimmer.
Associated pages:
How to use colons to extend sentences
Which, that and who (commas or not)
Glossary of grammatical terms

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