What is an essential appositive

What is appositive phrase?

What is an appositive?

Before we look at the term appositive, we should first understand the meaning of the term appositive. An appositive is a noun, pronoun, noun sentence, or noun sentence that is placed next to another noun to rename or describe it. Here are some examples of appositive.

My brother Paul is not doing well.

(In this example the appositive is Paul. It renames the noun Brothers.)

Mrs. Anderson, the headmistress, went abroad.

(In this example the appositive is the headmaster of my school. It describes the noun Mrs. Anderson.)

Appositives are usually separated by commas, brackets, or hyphens. As mentioned above, an appositive can be a noun, a sentence, or a clause.

Rusty, a dogstaring at me. - noun

Rusty, a rust-colored big dog, stared at me. - phrase

Rusty, a rust-colored big dog that looked hungry stared at me. - clause

What is appositive phrase?

An appositive phrase is a group of words that renames or describes another noun that is next to it. An appositive phrase can be a long or short combination of words. It usually contains the appositive and its modifiers.

Appositive phrases can be essential or unimportant. Phrases that contain information necessary to identify the noun are called essential appositive phrases. Phrases that do not contain essential information are known as non-essential appositive phrases. Essential expressions are not highlighted with commas, but non-essential expressions are separated by commas.

Basic appositive sentences:

Your friend Sally is in trouble.

The author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the character of Sherlock Holmes.

Non-essential sentence terms:

My brother's car, a sporty red convertible, is the envy of his friends.

Ms. Sampson, a special education specialist, took the class.


Tigger, our neighbor's cat, looks like a little baby tiger.

Examples of an appositive phrase

Here are some more examples of appositive expressions. Note the difference between essential and non-essential sentences in these sentences.

Popular US President Abraham Lincoln is known for his efforts to end slavery.

The insect, a small cockroach, crawled under his bed.

Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.

They got a shock when they entered my brother's room, the most chaotic area in our house.

Her father, a doctor, took her to the hospital.

Minnie, our neighbor's poodle, was stolen in the middle of the night.

My brother Aryan is 16 years old.

The artist who painted this picture is dead.

He likes to eat poori, an unleavened, deep-fried Indian bread.

The man who testified to the crime has disappeared.

New Delhi, the capital of India, is the second most populous metropolis in India.

Appositive phrase - summary

  • An appositive phrase is a group of words that renames or describes another noun that is next to it.
  • It usually includes an appositive and its modifiers.
  • An appositive phrase may or may not be essential.
  • Non-essential phrases are distinguished by commas, while essential appositive phrases are not separated by commas.