Hey guys, we’re back again with another grammar post! This time we are going to deviate from the set plan and learn about appositive phrases. These are one of my favorite phrases as they are relatively easy to learn and very simple to write. But, before we begin our lesson let’s do some haiku review first to get our minds thinking.
Haiku Review (Learning Indirect Objects):
Always precede the DO
And follow the verb
Here’s an easy rule
To help out. “Somebody gave
If there isn’t a
DO, then there won’t be an
Alrighty, that should get us in our thinking caps, now let’s go right into our lesson about appositives. The “exact” definition of an appositive phrase is ‘a noun or noun phrase that renames the noun right beside it’. Now, that sounds really confusing, but essentially it is a way of clarifying or describing a noun in more detail. Here’s an example of a sentence without an appositive phrase, and one with it:
- The dog raced across the lawn.
- The dog, a German Shepard, raced across the lawn.
Note that the appositive phrase is separated by commas. If the phrase is in the middle of the sentence, you should use 2 commas, as I have done in the first example. If the appositive phrase starts the sentence (which we’ll look at now), then you only use one comma. Similarly, if the phrase ends the sentence you only use one comma. Let’s look at some phrases that are in the middle of the sentence, then ones that start the sentence.
- While eating dinner at the table, Aidan, my brother, spilled his drink.
- The man was taking a stroll through Downs’ Park, one of the quieter areas in his neighborhood, when he happened to spot a rabbit.
- The Tinamou, a type of bird species, is the only bird able to lay glossy looking eggs.
Now let’s look at some sentences with the appositive phrase in the beginning.
- A superb athlete with a temper, Robbie is known for violent outbursts during games.
- One of the top in the class, the student made sure he completed all of his assignments on time.
- Jumping from tree to tree, the squirrel looked like it was flying.
Finally, let’s look at some sentences with the appositive phrase in the end.
- Upset with the call, the team looked at their coach, a man known for picking fights with the referees.
- Upset at being laughed at, Aidan decided to launch himself at Jack, his brother.
- The garage sale was literally taking place in our garage, a tiny attachment to the house.
Alright, that should be more than enough examples for you guys to get the hang of appositive phrases. The more you practice them, the more you’ll get better at them and pretty soon you’ll notice that you are using them in sentences without even realizing it. And so this wraps up this grammar post, and as always, stay tuned for the next one!