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Appositive

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Did you just recently hear about appositives and now desperately want to know what they are and how they function? You came to the right page. Appositive is a relatively uncommon grammar term which many of us are unaware about. An appositive is a grammar phenomenon that serves its purpose in proper sentence formation of English language and we all must be aware of their definition and usage.

Today, we will discuss in detail about appositive and how to correctly use them in English language.

Appositive

It is said that the term appositive was derived from Latin in which it meant to place near.

A noun or a noun phrase which is placed near another noun to better describe it or rename it is called an appositive.

Example:

My boss, Olivia, screamed at me for being late.

In the above example, Olivia is the appositive which is in apposition to my boss. Notice that Olivia is also a noun and as it is placed very close to another noun my boss, it automatically becomes an appositive. These types of appositives are referred to as noun appositives.

Likewise, appositives can also be in the form of noun phrases. Typically, an appositive is referred to as a noun phrase appositive when it describes in detail the noun placed near it i.e. in a phrase not a word.

Example:

The flower, a wild chrysanthemum with a hue of orange, has medicinal properties beyond the imagination of humans.

Now consider the above example. It uses the noun flower and a noun phrase a wild chrysanthemum with a hue of orange. The noun phrase i.e. a wild chrysanthemum with a hue of orange is the appositive in this case and is called a noun phrase appositive.

Sometimes in English language, an appositive is introduced in a sentence with terms like for example/namely/i.e./that is/in other words etc.

Example:

The frame, namely a timeless antique, was put on display.

Till now, you must have gained some understanding of appositives and their usage. One thing that should be kept in mind while using appositives in a sentence is to make sure you punctuate the sentence very carefully. Appositive are accompanied by commas depending on their position in a sentence.

Examples:

Robin, a competitive candidate, was a threat to everyone else in the hall.

When appositive comes in the middle of the sentence, a comma is used before and after it.

 

A competitive candidate, Robin was a threat to everyone else in the hall.

When appositive is located at the beginning of a sentence it is followed by a comma.

 

Everyone else in the hall was threatened by Robin, a competitive candidate.

When the appositive ends the sentence, a comma is used before it starts and it is followed by a period.

 

 

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