What is an Appositive? (A Noun in Apposition)
When we use two Nouns or Noun Phrases together to refer to the same person or thing in a clause, the second is said to be an Appositive of the first. So the second Noun or Noun Phrase is called an Appositive or a Noun in Apposition.
The word appositive is derived from the Latin phrases ad and positio meaning “near” and “placement.”
- Sandesh Reddy, my younger son, is good at painting. (Sandesh Reddy and my younger son refer to the same person)
- Snehith Reddy, my elder son, is working for Amazon in the US. (Snehith Reddy and my elder son refer to the same person)
- My Physics teacher is an Anglo-Indian. (Predicate Noun)
- Meet my Physics teacher, the Anglo-Indian. (Appositive Noun or Noun in Apposition)
How to use the Appositive:
We use the Appositive (or second Noun or Noun Phrase) when it gives extra information which may not be necessary to identify the person or thing. This word or phrase is generally separated by commas in writing.
- Kalam, a great Indian Scientist, contributed much to Space Research.
- Lata Mangeshkar was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in cinema.
Since the second word or phrase is giving only additional information, the order of the Nouns or Noun Phrases can be reversed.
- A great Indian Scientist, Abdul Kalam, contributed much to Space Research.
- Lata Mangeshkar was awarded India’s highest award in cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
- This is Raja Ravi Varma’s beautiful painting, a great piece of art.
- Rabindranath Tagore, the universal poet, received the Nobel Prize in English Literature.
- Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, used to spend his pastime in Kashmir.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, the English poet, is considered the father of modern English Literature.
- Prakash Baba Amte, an Indian social worker, was awarded the Magsaysay Award.
- Subhas Chandra Bose, an Indian nationalist, is best known for his patriotism.
- B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar Yoga, was considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world.
- Homi Bhabha, the father of the Indian nuclear programme, was awarded the Adams Prize and Padma Bhushan.
Types of Appositives:
There are two types of appositives. They are called essential and nonessential appositives.
Nonessential appositives are also called nonrestrictive. Most of the appositives in English are of this type. Even without these nouns or noun phrases (nonessential appositives), the sentences would be clear in meaning. These nonessential appositives are generally separated by commas in a sentence.
- My brother, Mr. Rajiv, is going to establish a pharma company.
- Our school principal, Mr. Raghunath, has received many awards.
Essential appositives are also called restrictive appositives. As the name itself suggests, this type of noun or noun phrase is essential for a sentence to give us a clear meaning. Here we would not use any commas to separate this part.
- The film The Titanic received many Oscar Awards.
- The character Sherlock Holmes has been created by Arthur Conan Doyle.
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