Appositives are one of the useless terms to know. If you aren’t an English teacher, the word is pretty much pointless to keep in your vocabulary. It’s fine. I don’t even remember.
But its purpose is important to understand.
An appositive is a secondary way of describing a noun or phrase.
The owner of the British crown Queen Elizabeth ….
Cyro Hartliebe, my pride and joy, ….
In both cases, the subject has two parts. Even though appositive can count as a subject on its own, it’s almost like an adjective to the subject.
An appositive does not have to be the subject. It does have to count as a noun within the sentence, though.
I went hunting with my dog Barley.
They were surrounding G Dragon, a well known K-Pop superstar.
Appositives come in two categories: comma surrounded non essential information and no commas around essential information.
It’s far more common that an appositive is nonessential versus essential. If it can be removed from the sentence, use commas to partially separate it (that is true for all non essential parts of a sentence; it’s a main use for commas).
Just because I put my essential pieces before and my nonessential pieces after does not mean positioning creates essential-ness. Positioning doesn’t matter.
This is nitpicking information, though. Commas are so annoying with a ton of rules and expectations. Don’t be afraid to put all your appositives surrounded by commas. If the sentence reads properly without the appositive, it should be considered non essential.
How about a little practice?
Pick out the appositives in these sentences:
- Tim, my daughter’s friend, comes over every day after school.
- The seventh degree black belt in Taekwondo Master Shin would love for you to join his class tomorrow.
- I picked up my mom’s favorite flowers roses before visiting her.
- My first child Cyro Hartliebe is genderfluid like myself.
Try writing a few sentences yourself. (I hope you come up with better sentences than me.)