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Grammar Handbook: Appositives

Appositives are two words or word groups which mean the same thing and are placed together. Appositives identify or explain the nouns or pronouns which they modify:

We can say that "Professor Lamanna" is an appositive or is in apposition to "our teacher." "Professor Lamanna" identifies or explains "teacher.'

Appositive Phrases

An appositive phrase includes an appositive and its modifiers:

Restrictive Appositives

A restrictive appositive is necessary to maintain the meaning of the sentence and does not require commas. Usually, a restrictive appositive is a single word closely related to the preceding word. It "restricts" or narrows the meaning of the word it modifies:

Nonrestrictive Appositive

A nonrestrictive appositive may be omitted without changing the basic meaning of the sentence. A nonrestrictive appositive is separated by commas. Commas are always used when the word which the appositive modifies is a proper noun:

Punctuation Note

A dash or colon, as well as a comma, can be used to set off appositives: