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Lesson 10: How to Write Appositives

Study the following examples. Note that each appositive contains all three parts:

1) Full Name.
2) Appositive which identifies the witness.
3) A verb or phrase that is roughly equivalent to “says”.

Examples:

Note that in each of these examples, the appositive phrase comes after the name, and it is placed between commas. (These commas are called parenthetical commas, because they act sort of like parentheses).

Sometimes—if the appositive is short—you can place the appositive before the name. Consider the following examples:

The second example is certainly acceptable, since the appositive “president” is short. Note that when the appositive comes before the name, we leave out the comma between the appositive and the name. Here are some more examples:

Often you won’t really know the “occupation” of your witness. You may not even know her name. Still, you have to provide some information about your source. Study the following examples:

Check Your Understanding:

  1. Should the appositive come before or after the name?
  2. How is the punctuation different, depending on whether the appositive comes before or after the name?
  3. Write an example of a signal phrase in which the appositive comes after the name.
  4. Write an example of a signal phrase in which the appositive comes before the name.

Quiz: MLA 10