Appositive Phrases

What is an Appositive Phrase?

An appositive phrase is a noun, noun phrase, or series of nouns that renames the noun next to it.

Appositive Examples

Appositive phrase examples would be the following:

My puppy, a rambunctious Boston Terrier, loves to play fetch.

A record-setting swimmer, Jada practically lived at the pool.

New Zealand, the first country to pass suffrage laws, granted voting rights to women 27 years before the United States.

Why You Should Use Appositive Phrases in Your Writing

Appositive phrases are valuable tools in a writer’s toolbox in that they can provide you with a more effective means of communication. Let’s review a few reasons why you should use appositive phrases in your writing:

Clarity: Appositive phrases provide additional information about the noun or pronoun they are renaming, and in doing this, they further clarify the meaning or context of the noun. For example:

His grandfather, a war veteran, saved many lives as a medic.

Variety: Appositive phrases allow you to vary your sentence structures which makes your writing more interesting. They help to add depth to the topic and can further engage the reader.

My childhood friend, a lover of all animals, trained to become a veterinarian.

Conciseness: Appositives give you the ability to rename nouns to provide more specificity without sounding redundant. They make your writing concise while still allowing you to provide important details.

My little brother thinks he is such a good swimmer that he often likens himself to Poseidon, the god of the sea.

Be sure that when you are using appositive phrases in your writing, set them off with commas unless they are essential elements to the meaning of the sentence.


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