You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/Appositives & restrictive/nonrestrictive clauses

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted,

Is there a relationship between "appositives" and
"restrictive/nonrestrictive clauses"?

As always, many, many thanks for your precious help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there a relationship between "appositives" and
"restrictive/nonrestrictive clauses"?

*** I don't think the word "relationship" is the right one to use.  An appositive gives additional information that is not required for the meaning of the sentence.  In that respect, it is similar to a nonrestrictive clause.  Clauses, however, must have a subject and a verb, but appositives do not.

EXAMPLES:

Barack Obama, President of the United States, was re-elected to a second four-year term.  "President of the United States" is an appositive, telling who Obama is.  It is similar to a nonrestrictive clause in that it is not necessary.  However, its structure is FAR DIFFERENT from a clause.

I can make the appositive into a clause:  Barack Obama, who is the President of the United States, was re-elected to a second four-year term.  By adding a subject [who] and a verb [is], the appositive is now an adjective clause.

By the way, appositives can be exchanged for the word or words in which they are in apposition, and the sentence will mean the same thing.  The same practice CANNOT be applied to nonessential clauses.

Barack Obama, President of the United States, was re-elected . . .

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, was re-elected . . .

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.