Home > Language Focus, Recommended For Students > WHAT IS AN APPOSITIVE?


An appositive or apposition is a noun, a noun phrase, a noun clause, pronoun—often with modifiers—which sits next to another noun to rename, explain, identify, or describe it in another way. (The word appositive comes from the Latin for “to put near”). Appositives are usually offset with commas (put before an appositive phrase), brackets, or dashes. An appositive can be a noun, a noun phrase, or noun clause. Quite often, appositives are introduced with terms like namely, i.e., that is, and in other words.


  1. My daughter, Sarah, likes to play Exotic Farm game.
  2. Do you know Zeus, the Greek chief god?
  3. My blog, https://myenglishcamp.wordpress.com/, has more than 70 posts so far.
  4. Amanda, my ex-girlfriend, contacted me again after more than 5 years we have lost contact each other.
  5. Indonesia Raya, the National Anthem of Indonesia, was sang very loudly by football supporters in GBK stadium on Indonesia vs. Thailand friendly match

The words/phrases in bold and italic are appositive. And since the appositive is “optional”, a sentence will remain “complete” even without it. For more explanation and examples, please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appositive

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