An appositive is a word or group of words that identifies or renames the noun or pronoun that it follows. It is set off by commas unless closely tied to the word that it identifies or renames. ("Closely tied" means that it is needed to identify the word.) Examples: My son Carl is a medical technician. (no commas) Badger, our dog with a missing leg, has a love for cats. (commas needed)
Appositives should not be confused with predicate nominatives. A verb will separate the subject from the predicate nominative. An appositive can follow any noun or pronoun including the subject, direct object, or predicate nominative.
Instructions: Identify the appositives in the following sentences and tell whether they are appositives to subjects, direct objects, or predicate nominatives.
1. The neighbor boys, the twins, were excellent baseball players.
2. The girl in the red dress is Sarah, our best actress.
3. Have you read Brothers, a book by Dean Hughes?
4. There goes Grant Long, the electrical contractor.
5. My friend, Matt Matson, collects lost hubcaps.
--For answers scroll down.
1. twins = appositive to the subject, boys
2. actress = appositive to the predicate nominative, Sarah
3. book = appositive to the direct object, Brothers
4. contractor = appositive to the subject, Grant Long
5. Matt Matson = appositive to the subject, friend