April 27th, 2013 in English Grammar
An appositive is essentially a modifying clause from which a relative pronoun and a linking verb have been removed. Appositives are commonly used for combining ideas. In writing, we usually set them off with a pair of commas.
- Supriya is my neighbor’s daughter. She is an accomplished dancer.
We can combine these two clauses in two different ways
- Supriya, who is an accomplished dancer, is my neighbor’s daughter.
Here we use a relative clause (who is an accomplished dancer) to combine the two statements.
Remove that relative pronoun and linking verb from the relative clause. Now we get an appositive phrase. It can also be used to combine the ideas.
- Supriya, an accomplished dancer, is my neighbor’s daughter.
More examples are given below.
- Alice has a great sense of humor. She is my colleague.
- Alice, who is my colleague, has a great sense of humor.
- Alice, my colleague, has a great sense of humor.
- My brother owns a sporty red Ferrari. It is the envy of my friends.
- My brother’s car, a sporty red Ferrari, is the envy of my friends.
An appositive usually follows the word it explains or modifies, but it may also precede it.
- A wealthy heiress, Anna Hall was a major figure in the euthanasia movement in the US during the early 20th century.
Here the appositive phrase, a wealthy heiress, precedes the word it explains.