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Appositives and Appositive Phrases


Appositives and Appositive Phrases

Appositives and Appositive Phrases


An appositive is a noun or a pronoun placed beside another noun or pronoun to identify or describe it. 

Appositives add specific details that the sentence would otherwise lack.
An appositive may be a single noun or pronoun, or it may be a compound noun or pronoun.

  • Their cat Frost has a silver coat. [Cat is a general noun, but the appositive Frost tells which cat.] 
  • Our earliest crops, carrots and radishes, were almost ready for harvesting. [Crops is a general noun, but the appositive nouns, carrots and radishes, tell what specific crops.] 
  • Vegetables, these plants are good for our health. [The appositive Vegetables comes before the more general noun plants for emphasis. Usually, an appositive follows the noun or pronoun it identifies.]


Appositives and Appositive Phrases Tip

Very often, single-word or compound appositives are set off from the main sentence by commas. Sometimes, the commas can help you locate appositives. 

  • These plants, fresh corn and prickly okra, will be harvested soon.

Appositive Phrases

An appositive phrase consists of an appositive and any modifiers the appositive has.

Like appositives, the appositive phrase adds detail and interest to the main sentence.

  • The two machines, an off-balance washer and a dryer with a frayed belt, made a lot of noise. [The appositive phrase identifies the more general noun machines.]
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