Tag Archive - Appositives

Are You Appositive about This?

Appositives are grammatical elements that may be restrictive or nonrestrictive in a sentence. Not positive you know what an appositive is? It’s a noun or noun phrase that renames or restates the noun it follows.

  • Betty’s husband, Daniel, rushed to her side when she collapsed.

In this sentence Daniel is the appositive. It renames Betty’s husband. It’s not essential to the meaning of the sentence to know his name, so it’s set off in commas. We assume Betty only has one husband.

  • Betty’s daughter Danielle learned of her mother’s hospitalization via Facebook.

If we were to omit Danielle from this sentence, it would indicate that Betty has only one daughter. By making it a restrictive element (no commas) it tells us that Betty has more than one daughter, and she learned about her mother’s health via social media.

  • The doctor, who was a family friend, treated Betty using the latest medical technology.

Who was a family friend is a noun phrase that also names the doctor. It provides additional but not essential information about the doctor. Take that phrase out and the intent of the sentence is clear. Continue Reading…