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What Is an Appositive? (with Examples)

An appositive is a noun, a noun phrase, or a noun clause which sits next to another noun to rename it or to describe it in another way. (The word appositive comes from the Latin for to put near.)

Appositives are usually offset with commas, brackets, or dashes.

Examples of Appositives

Here are some examples of appositives:

An Appositive Can Be a Noun, a Noun Phrase, or Noun Clause

An appositive can be a noun, a noun phrase, or a noun clause. For example:

You Can Introduce an Appositive

Quite often, appositives are introduced with terms like namely, i.e., that is, and in other words. For example:
If the appositive is just additional information (i.e., you could remove it from the sentence without any loss of meaning), then offset it from the remainder of the sentence using commas. (You could also use parentheses (i.e., brackets) or dashes instead of commas.) For example: When an appositive is just additional information (as in the examples above), it is classified as non-restrictive.

Read more about non-restrictive and restrictive clauses.

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See Also

What is parenthesis in apposition? What are nouns? What are noun phrases? What are noun clauses? What are non-restrictive clauses? What are restrictive clauses? The difference between i.e. and e.g. Glossary of grammatical terms