Appositive Noun

How to Use Appositive Nouns in Academic Writing.

An appositive noun is a nounOpens in new window or noun phraseOpens in new window that immediately follows and further identifies another noun.

A noun in apposition stands for the same person or thing as some other noun: in other words, it is another name for the same person or thing.

Consider the following constructions:
  • Dr. Mendy, the doctor on call, performed the endoscopy.
    (the phrase “the doctor on call” identifies and renames the noun, Dr. Mendy)
  • Assurance Fortress, an independent firm, covered all medical expenses.
    (the phrase “an independent firm” identifies and renames Assurance Fortress.)
An appositive noun may immediately follow another noun and rename that noun.

With two nouns in this sort of combination, the one that follows the first is said to be in apposition with the first, not the first with the second.

Appositive nouns are typically set off in commas after the nouns they rename. Observe carefully the sentences below:

  • Mr. Richmond, the company chauffeur, has his own car.
  • Meet Barr. Coles, my lawyer
  • I heard the Simpson’s dog, Daisy, barking.

The appositive noun also functions the same way a predicate nounOpens in new window does.

An appositive noun and predicate noun both stand for the same person or thing as the subject of the sentence. However, what distinguishes them is that the predicate noun is connected to the subject by a verb:

  • My lesson teacher is Scandinavian. (predicate noun)
  • My lesson teacher, the Scandinavian, arrived few minutes ago. (appositive)

Note that a noun in apposition may be separated from its related noun by several words if the relation between the two nouns is clear:

  • A lone man walked across the desert, a solitary figure in the scorching landscape.
  • Cynthia, my eldest and brightest niece, is intelligent.