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Using Nouns and Noun Phrases as Appositives


Using Nouns and Noun Phrases as Appositives

As defined by traditional grammars, a noun is a word that refers to a person, place, thing, or idea. A noun phrase is a phrase that consists of a noun plus any modifiers, complements, or determiners. Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns and noun phrases. Pronoun is a subcategory of noun.

In grammar, an appositive is a word, phrase, or clause that supports another word, phrase, or clause by describing or modifying the other word, phrase, or clause. Nouns and noun phrases often function as appositives. Examples of nouns and noun phrases as appositives include the following:

  • My uncle Felix wrote a best-selling novel. (noun)
  • The first state to ratify the Constitution, Delaware, is rich in history. (noun)
  • My cat, Princess, can be very mischievous. (noun)
  • That man, him, stole the hot dog. (pronoun)
  • A burglar, someone extremely conniving, hit every house in the neighborhood. (pronoun phrase)
  • The popular American president John Kennedy was known for his eloquent speeches. (noun phrase)
  • That book, the green one with the torn cover, was donated by a professor. (noun phrase)
  • Earth, the only planet in our galaxy known to support life, is sometimes called the third rock from the sun. (noun phrase)

Noun as Appositive

Noun as Appositive Grammar Tree


Pronoun as Appositive

Pronoun as Appositive Grammar Tree


Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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