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Old 09-07-2015, 06:43 PM
frisco kid frisco kid is offline
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Restrictive Appositives

Appositive dictionary definition | appositive defined

The definition of appositive refers to two nouns or noun phrases that are together in a sentence and each one gives more information about the other.

In the sentence “I am waiting for my friend Beth” the phrase “my friend” is an appositive phrase to “Beth” and “Beth” is an appositive noun to “my friend”.

Appositive Examples - Appositive Sentences

who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors

Appositive Phrases

An appositive phrase includes an appositive and its modifiers:
My favorite place, the English building, is located on the Quad, a grassy square in the middle of the campus.

Restrictive Appositives

A restrictive appositive is necessary to maintain the meaning of the sentence and does not require commas. Usually, a restrictive appositive is a single word closely related to the preceding word. It "restricts" or narrows the meaning of the word it modifies:
The musician Harry Connick will come to Champaign.
("Harry Connick" restricts the general term "musician.")
My sister Mary has four dogs.

Nonrestrictive Appositive

A nonrestrictive appositive may be omitted without changing the basic meaning of the sentence. A nonrestrictive appositive is separated by commas. Commas are always used when the word which the appositive modifies is a proper noun:
Harry Connick, the musician, will come to Champaign.
("Musician" offers additional information about the specific name "Harry Connick")
There are many parades for Mardi Gras, a religious festival celebrating the last day before Lent, in New Orleans, a city in Louisiana.

It's simple English, really Barbecue

"persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to families of ambassadors..."

'Persons...who are foreigners' is a complete phrase, as is the parallel 'persons... who are aliens.' Foreigners and aliens aren't really different, are they? So that would parse as 'foreigners, [in other words] aliens....'

The verb 'are' can get to 'foreigners' or 'aliens,' but cannot project past the following 'who.'

The second "who" is stranded with no subject unless it connects with the previous ones, so you get 'foreigners who belong to families of ambassadors..." and the parallel "aliens who belong to families of ambassadors..."

That passage can't possibly be read as a series, i.e. "foreigners, aliens, [or those] who belong to families of ambassadors..."

AND You have still failed to answer my question. What is the difference between a foreigner and an alien?

In any case, it's a moot point, since the actual term used in the clause, "Subject to the Jurisdiction" completely negates your interpretation of that phrase.

An appositive is a noun, noun phrase or pronoun that is next to a noun or pronoun to rename it. In other words, it identifies or explains it with additional information. One can consist of a short string of words or a long string. Most appositives contain modifiers, or adjectives. They differ from relative (defining/restrictive) clauses in that the string of words that provides additional information does not contain a relative pronoun. The omission of the relative pronoun can help keep your writing free of clutter. Appositives are either restrictive (essential) or non-restrictive (non-essential). Keep in mind that appositives can apply to any noun, noun phrase or pronoun within a sentence, not only to those that are the subjects of sentences.

An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that follows another noun or pronoun and explains it.

Appositive Phrases

Appositive phrases are basically the grammatical younger sibling of descriptive clauses: they serve the same purpose, describing a noun or pronoun, but they don't include a verb. Nonetheless, the basic rule for comma use is identical. If a phrase can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence, it needs to be surrounded with commas. Consider the following examples. Where do you think they need commas?

What to remember for appositives:

2. Most of the time, appositives are used as noun modifiers and contain nouns themselves, but they can also be adverbial modifiers.

Difference between Appositives and Parenthetical elements : GMAT Verbal Section

All appositive phrases are parenthetical elements but not all parenthetical elements are appositive. An appositive construction is a group of words (with no verb) which gives an emphasis to the immediately preceding word. On the other hand, a parenthetical element, non-essential information, can have many different forms among which the appositive phrase.


In daily speech and writing, we are constantly renaming things. People and objects can have many names. For instance, I am Angela, but I can also be called a woman, a teacher, a daughter, or a sister. All these names can refer to me in different contexts. This is true for nearly any noun.

An appositive is a phrase, usually a noun phrase, that renames another phrase or noun. A noun phrase is a group of words taking the job of a noun in a sentence. Noun phrases consist of the main noun and any modifiers. For example, 'yellow house', 'high school teacher', and 'the large dog' are all noun phrases. Here is an example of a sentence using a one word appositive to rename another noun.
•My best friend, Sammy, lives in Cleveland.

The word Sammy is the appositive in that sentence as it renames the noun phrase 'my best friend'. Appositives can also come in the form of phrases. Here are two more examples of sentences using an appositive phrase.
•My childhood home, a yellow and blue house, is just down the road.
•His fish, Gill and Phineas, need to be fed once a day.

The two appositive phrases are 'a yellow and blue house' and 'Gill and Phineas'.


Like a noun clause, an adjective clause may begin with who, that, which. But unlike a noun clause, an adjective clause cannot be replaced by a noun and still make sense.

•Noun Clause: Whoever ate my sandwich is crazy. (“Whoever ate my sandwich” can be substituted for the noun, “Bob.” Bob is crazy. )

•Adjective Clause: The man who ate my sandwich is crazy. (“Who ate my sandwich” modifies “the man.”

Like an appositive, which is a noun or noun phrase, an adjective clause provides more information about a noun. In fact, we may think of an appositive as a simplified adjective clause. Consider, for example, how the following two sentences can be combined.

•Jimbo Gold is a professional magician.

•Jimbo Gold performed at my sister's birthday party.

We have the option of reducing the adjective clause in this sentence to an appositive. All that we need to do is omit the pronoun who and the verb is:
Jimbo Gold, a professional magician, performed at my sister's birthday party.
(“A professional magician” is a noun phrase that renames Jim Gold.)

Another way to combine these sentences is to turn the first sentence into an adjective clause:

Jimbo Gold, who is a professional magician, performed at my sister's birthday party.

(“Who is a professional magician” is an adjective phrase that modifies Jimbo Gold.)

The appositive a professional magician serves to identify the subject, Jimbo Gold. Reducing an adjective clause to an appositive is one way to cut the clutter in our writing. However, not all adjective clauses can be shortened to appositives in this fashion--only those that contain a form of the verb to be (is, are, was, were).

This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.

Think of appositives as subjects. There is no action because there is no verb. You only have a descriptive noun.

To write appositives, target nouns in your sentences that need (or could use) further description or explanation.

Last edited by frisco kid; 11-01-2018 at 07:11 PM.
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