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Online Quiz (Worksheet A B C D)

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Grammar, Punctuation, and Style
1.44 Appositives: Restrictive and Non-restrictive

An appositive is a noun or pronoun, in the form of a word, a phrase, or a clause, that further explains, renames, or identifies another noun or pronoun in that same sentence.

  • An appositive usually appears directly after the noun it explains, identifies, or renames.

    Example:

    The Yorkshire Terrier, an adorable little dog, is always a favorite at the dog show.
    Lansing, the capital of Michigan, is home to Michigan State University.

    Note that the appositives in the sentences above are set off by commas.

  • Appositives can also come before the noun they are identifying:

    Example:

    An adorable little dog, the Yorkshire Terrier is a favorite at the dog show.
    The capital of Michigan, Lansing is home to Michigan State University.

    Notice that when the appositive comes first in a sentence, it is followed by a comma.

  • An appositive may also come at the end of a sentence. A comma (or dash) is usually used before the appositive in this case.

    Example:

    Growing by the river was the most beautiful plant I had ever seen--a Rhododendron in full bloom.

  • An appositive may be restrictive, which means that it is essential to the meaning of a sentence. A restrictive appositive is not set off by commas.

    Example:

    My sister Sue will be having a party next week.

    (Sue is essential to the meaning of this sentence because it tells which sister is having a party.)

    The band Three Doors Down is performing at the Palace tonight.

    (the appositive in this sentence identifies which band is performing).

  • An appositive may be non-restrictive, which means that you could omit the appositive from the sentence without compromising the meaning of the sentence.

    Example:

    Three Doors Down, the band, is performing at the Palace tonight.

    Sue, my sister, will be having a party next week.

  • An appositive may be negative, or identify what something or someone is not.

    Example:

    Female students, rather than male students, are most likely to take cooking classes at school.

  • Commas or dashes may be used to set off an appositive. Dashes are useful when the appositive itself contains commas.

Directions: Rewrite the following sentences, making sure to correctly punctuate and identify the appositives in each one. Write what type of appositive the sentences contain (restrictive or non-restrictive). Write two example sentences for each of the rules listed above.

Q 1: The popular movie Ice Age is showing at the theater tonight.
Answer:

Q 2: Hovering around the lilac bush in my yard was the most beautiful and delicate bird I'd ever seen a ruby-throated hummingbird.
Answer:

Q 3: A country well known for its ancient traditions Egypt is an interesting place to visit.
Answer:

Q 4: Venice a city of canals villas and marvelous cuisine is home to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.
Answer:

Q 5: George Washington the first president of the United States had false teeth that were made of wood.
Answer:

Q 6: Mars the fourth planet from the sun is also called the "Red Planet" because of its reddish appearance as seen from Earth.
Answer:

Q 7: A very large and hairy spider the tarantula mainly eats insects and other arthropods.
Answer:

Q 8: My brother Jim went white water rafting in Colorado last summer.
Answer:

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