Appositive Phrases, Definition, Types, Examples

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Appositive Phrases, Definition, Types, Examples! An appositive phrase is a descriptive word or phrase that renames or describes a noun. Appositives are typically set off by commas, and they can be either adjectives or clauses. There are two types of appositives: restrictive and non-restrictive.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at appositive phrases and how to use them correctly. We’ll also explore some examples to help you understand this tricky grammar concept.

appositive phrases

Definition of Appositive Phrases

An appositive is a word or phrase that renames or further identifies a noun or pronoun in a sentence. For example, in the sentence “My sister, Liza, is an excellent cook,” the appositive phrase “Liza” renames the subject, “my sister.”

Appositives can come before or after the word they’re renaming. You can usually remove an appositive from a sentence without changing its basic meaning; however, doing so can make the sentence awkward or unclear. There are two main types of appositives: essential appositives, and nonessential appositives.

Types of Appositive Phrase

1- Essential Appositives

Essential appositives are necessary to identify the noun or pronoun they’re renaming. For example, in the sentence “The poet laureate of Maryland, map librarian by day Jane Smith, read her work at the library last night,” the two appositives (“the poet laureate of Maryland” and “map librarian by day”) are essential to identify Jane Smith. Without them, readers wouldn’t know which Jane Smith the poet is.

Examples:

– My neighbor’s dog, an energetic golden retriever, loves to play fetch.

– The poet laureate of Maryland, map librarian by day Jane Smith, read her work at the library last night.

– The local coffee shop, a popular hangout for college students, is always crowded.

2- Nonessential Appositives

Nonessential appositives aren’t necessary to identify the noun or pronoun they’re renaming; they simply add extra information about it. For example, in the sentence “My favorite teacher, Ms. Nguyen, is retiring this year,” the appositive phrase “Ms. Nguyen” provides additional information about the noun “teacher.” If we removed the appositive from this sentence, it would still be clear which teacher is being discussed.

Examples:

– My favorite teacher, Ms. Nguyen, is retiring this year.

– The new CEO, a woman in her early 40s, will be announced tomorrow.

– My grandfather, a retired doctor, likes to read medical journals in his spare time.

How to Use Appositive Phrases?

Now that you know what appositive phrases are and how they work, let’s talk about how to use them correctly. Here are a few tips:

– When an appositive comes before the noun it’s renaming, set it off with commas.

– When an appositive comes after the noun it’s renaming, don’t set it off with commas unless it’s a nonessential appositive.

– If an essential appositive is long or has its own commas, set it off with parentheses or dashes.

Examples:

  • My favorite teacher (Ms. Nguyen) is retiring this year.
  • The poet laureate of Maryland – map librarian by day Jane Smith – read her work at the library last night.
  • The local coffee shop (a popular hangout for college students) is always crowded.

Now that you know all about appositive phrases, test your knowledge with the exercises below. And if you’re still feeling a little confused, don’t hesitate to reach out to a tutor or grammar expert for help.

Appositive Phrases Exercises

1- Identifying Appositives in a Sentence

1:- Choose the sentence that does not contain an appositive phrase.

  1. A) The poet laureate of Maryland, map librarian by day Jane Smith, read her work at the library last night.
  2. B) My grandfather, a retired doctor, likes to read medical journals in his spare time.
  3. C) The new CEO will be announced tomorrow.

2:- Choose the sentence that has appositive phrase correctly placed and punctuated.

  1. A) My grandfather a retired doctor likes to read medical journals in his spare time.
  2. B) My grandfather, a retired doctor, likes to read medical journals in his spare time.
  3. C) My grandfather a retired doctor, likes to read medical journals in his spare time.

2- Combining Sentences with Appositives

3:- Which of the following sentence combinations uses an appositive phrase correctly?

  1. A) The poet laureate of Maryland Jane Smith read her work at the library last night.
  2. B) The poet laureate of Maryland, map librarian by day Jane Smith read her work at the library last night.
  3. C) The poet laureate of Maryland, map librarian by day Jane Smith, read her work at the library last night.

4:- Which of the following sentence combinations uses an appositive phrase correctly?

  1. A) The poet laureate of Maryland, map librarian by day, read her work at the library last night.
  2. B) The poet laureate of Maryland map librarian by day read her work at the library last night.
  3. C) The poet laureate of Maryland, map librarian by day, Jane Smith, read her work at the library last night.

3- Constructing Sentences with Appositives

5:- Complete the sentence below with an appropriate appositive phrase.

The poet ____________ read her work at the library last night.

6:- Complete the sentence below with an appropriate appositive phrase.

Yesterday I saw ____________ in the park.

7:- Complete the sentence below with an appropriate appositive phrase.

After ____________, we all went out to celebrate.

Answers:

1-C,

2-B,

3-C,

4-A,

5-“Laureate of Maryland”,

6-“my friend from school”,

7-“the big game”

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