The use of appositives is another
excellent tool to introduce sentence variety. An appositive is a noun or noun
phrase that immediately follows another noun. An appositive explains or defines
the noun it follows and is set off by commas.
Here are two examples of
appositives, the first sentence containing one appositive and the second
sentence containing two appositives:
|Mexico City, the biggest
city in the world, has many interesting archaeological sites.
Mexico City = the biggest city in the world
Denver, the capital of Colorado, is
the home of the Denver Broncos, the best football team in the US.
Denver = the capital of Colorado
Denver Broncos = the best football team in the US.
Each appositive in the examples
above is set off by commas. Appositives are always set off by commas.
Another interesting aspect of appositives is that they can always be exchanged
with the nouns they modify as in another example:
|The altitude of Lhasa, the
capital of Tibet, is over 12,000 feet.
The altitude of the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, is over 12,000 feet.
The altitude of Lhasa is over 12,000 feet.
The altitude of the capital of Tibet is over 12,000 feet.
In the examples above, the
appositives are in bold. In each case the appositive and its commas could be
omitted from the sentence completely leaving excellent sentences as is shown.
When you understand the use and
punctuation of appositives, go to the
QUICK QUIZ. In this quiz, it is necessary to type sentences and add correct
punctuation when required. Be sure to type correctly. Spelling and punctuation