appositive

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I hate to sound stupid but what exactly is appositive and how would it be used?

asked Mar 07 '13 at 22:13 Lee New member

1 answer


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Here's a good explanation I found when I searched for 'appositive'. I put the appositives in bold. Note that they are separated by commas.

 

An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that renames another noun right beside it. The appositive can be a short or long combination of words. Look at these examples:

    The insect, a cockroach, is crawling across the kitchen table.

    The insect, a large cockroach, is crawling across the kitchen table.

    The insect, a large cockroach with hairy legs, is crawling across the kitchen table.

    The insect, a large, hairy-legged cockroach that has spied my bowl of oatmeal, is crawling across the kitchen table.

 

If I write 'The insect crawling across the table is a cockroach', cockroach is not an appositive because is has to be right next the noun.

link edited Mar 07 '13 at 22:47 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Fantastic answer. Seeing the examples and how it works made it easy to understand. Many thanks

LeeMar 07 '13 at 22:52

I agree that Lewis' answer is fantastic; I would just add that an appositive is a short form of anon-restricted relative clause. For example, the longer sentence corresponding to Lewis' first example would be "The insect, which is a cockroach, is crawling across the kitchen table." Appositives make for much more concise writing than the wordier non-restricted clauses theyare derived from.

Shawn MooneyMar 08 '13 at 11:28

Thank you for that and sorry for taking so long to reply.

LeeAug 23 '13 at 01:24

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