What Are Appositives?
Appositives can be:
Non-restrictive appositives are nouns or noun phrases that provide additional, non-essential information about a particular component of the sentence. They can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.
When used in the middle of a sentence, non-restrictive appositives are enclosed by commas. When used at the end of a sentence, they are preceded by a comma. If they are used at the beginning of a sentence, they are followed by a comma.
Noun phrases that have more modifiers, such as adjectives or other modifying phrases, are often used as appositives to provide more detail or explanation about a particular component of the sentence. Check out the examples:
In this example; 'my grumpy professor' is the appositive noun phrase and its head (professor) is renaming Mr. Green.
In this example, 'his best friend' is an appositive noun phrase.
I bought a bunch of flowers for John,
Remember, using two dashes or round brackets before and after the appositive in the middle position is also acceptable. Compare the sentences below:
I think Matt Leblanc,
I think Matt Leblanc
I think Matt Leblanc
Non-restrictive Appositives Describing a Pronoun
Noun phrases can also be used to describe pronouns, but they are not necessary for the meaning of the sentence. When used, they are set off by commas to set them apart from the rest of the sentence. For example:
Pronouns as Non-restrictive Appositives
Pronouns can be used as non-restrictive appositives when combined with other nouns. In this case, the pronoun is placed after the noun, typically in the second position. Pay attention to the examples:
He gave the team,
Remember, proper nouns cannot be non-restrictive appositives, but they can be restrictive appositives.
A restrictive appositive provides essential information about a noun. It cannot be removed from the sentence and is not followed or preceded by a comma. Check out the examples:
They met the professor of the university
When To Use Restrictive Appositive Nouns
In some cases, when there is a large group of options, it can be essential to use a restrictive appositive to clarify the specific noun being referred to. Without a restrictive appositive, the conversation can be vague and the intended meaning may not be clear.
This is particularly important when using proper names to rename a general name, as there may be multiple options or interpretations. For example:
Here the listener will understand that the speaker has more than one brother.
This sentence implies that the person owns more than one dog.
Appositives can show emphasis. By repeating the initial noun or a part of the sentence as an appositive, we can emphasize what we think is important. Check out the examples:
We can use the appositives to explain a word with an easier word or with another word with the same meaning. Pay attention to the examples:
When using a pronoun, it is important to ensure that it agrees with the appositive noun in terms of case. To choose the correct pronoun, one can delete the main subject or object of the sentence and decide which pronoun is most appropriate to use. Here is an example:
, the teachers, to send the results.
Here, the teachers is the appositive, so you have to delete it and then decide whether 'called us' is correct or 'called we'
'Appositives' give further information about a noun or repeat it to make emphasis. There are two main appositives in English grammar, as follows:
- non-restrictive appositives
- restrictive appositives