Appositive Examples: What They Are and How To Use Them

Do you know what an appositive is? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on appositives, including the definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What is an appositive?

According to Your Dictionary, appositives are noun phrases or two nouns that work together to clarify, rename, or provide more information about another noun. Essential appositive phrases or restrictive appositive phrases are necessary for the sentence to make sense and for understanding of the sentence, while nonessential appositive phrases or non-restrictive appositive phrases simply add information. Appositives can appear at the beginning of a sentence, middle of a sentence, or end of the sentence. They could also come in parentheses or brackets. If the appositive/appositive phrase is essential to sentence meaning and clarity, the sentence does not need a comma or commas. There are many different phrases and words that might clue you into the fact that an appositive is about to appear, such as the below:

  •  Namely
  •  Such as
  •  The
  •  That is
  •  A
  •  For example/for instance
  •  An
  •  In other words
  •  Including

Many different languages also contain words that mean appositive. You may notice that some of these translations of appositive look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases in different languages that likely have the same root or language of origin, causing them to sound the same. The below list of translations of appositive is provided by Word Sense

  •  Romanian: apoziție‎
  •  German: Apposition‎ (fem.), Beisatz‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: приложе́ние‎ (neut.)
  •  Irish: comhaisnéis‎ (fem.)
  •  French: apposition‎ (fem.)
  •  Czech: přístavek‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: appositio‎, rinnastus‎
  •  Danish: navnetillæg‎, navnesamstilling‎
  •  Portuguese: aposição‎ (fem.)
  •  Bulgarian: приложение‎
  •  Ido: adpozo‎

What are examples of appositives?

An appositive phrase can be used in many different contexts in the English language. Trying to use a word or literary technique in a sentence is one of the best ways to memorize what it is, but you can also try making flashcards or quizzes that test your knowledge. Try using this term of the day in a sentence today! Below are many appositive phrase examples from Your Dictionary and BKA  that can help get you started incorporating this tool into your everyday use.  Try to use the term appositive today or notice when someone else is using an appositive. Take a look at the first example and second example and see if you can spot the placement of the appositive.

  •  My nephew often compares himself to the Flash, a DC comic superhero.
  •  They couldn’t believe it when the little boy stood up to John, the biggest bully in school.
  •  The summer months, for example, July and August, are the hottest.
  •  A great civil rights leader, John Lewis left a lasting legacy.
  •  Roslyn Carter, wife of former president Jimmy Carter, is the oldest living former First Lady.
  •  Kara’s designer bag, the red Chanel, got stained with paint because she wasn’t careful.
  •  Martin Luther King, Jr., the popular civil rights activist, was murdered.
  •  Little Davey, my youngest nephew next door, is feeling sick.
  •  The Flash, Barry Allen’s alter ego, is a DC comic superhero.
  •  An excellent shot, Annie Oakley traveled with a wild west show.
  •  Emma, the family’s cat, slowly crept up behind the kittens.
  •  My college roommate Kelley lives in Hunstville now.
  •  My new puppy, a little Daschund, has stolen my heart.
  •  A very strong man, Uncle Henry was able to carry the entire pallet of bricks by himself.
  •  A small SUV, my car is completely full.
  •  A two-door sedan, our rental car was completely full.
  •  The largest state in the U.S., Alaska is north of the contiguous 48 states.
  •  Furloughed employees, namely those deemed non-essential, may apply for unemployment benefits.
  •  A human garbage disposal, my brother consumed five cheeseburgers in one sitting last night.
  •  Leanne, the maid of honor from my wedding, is coming over this weekend.
  •  Her favorite teacher, Mrs. Book, assigned Moby Dick. 
  •  UV radiation, that is ultraviolet rays, is used in labs and manufacturing.
  •  Appleton, Mark’s dad, owns an orchard that was featured in the New York Times. 
  •  Michael Jackson, the pop star, died in 2009.
  •  Common ice cream flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, are his favorites.
  •  Social media is used by other community agencies, including church groups and health centers, to promote projects and events.
  •  A DC comic superhero, the Flash is popular among young boys.
  •  My childhood friend, Melody, loved music. 
  •  Sherlock Holmes, a character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is still popular on screen and in print.
  •  Jasmine was the belle of the ball in her new dress, a turquoise ball gown.
  •  The bookshelf, a large piece of furniture, was moved into the house first.
  •  A DC comic superhero, the Flash is popular among young boys.
  •  Edgar Allen Poe, the famous horror writer, died from unknown causes.
  •  Alaska, the largest state in the U.S., is north of the contiguous 48 states.
  •  The university stated that furloughs, in other words “layoffs,” may occur in the future.
  •  Former Vice President Walter Mondale died at the age of 93.
  •  I am looking forward to having enchiladas, my favorite food, for dinner.
  •  College professor Steve Williams will review the scholarship applications.
  •  A gigantic mountain of ice cream, Mary’s sundae started to melt when she took it outside.
  •  The spider, a big and hairy creature, scared the children as they played in the grass.

Appositives also appear in famous quotes, like the below from Literary Devices:

  •   Inside Cape Town (By­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Joshua Hammer) – “The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, Africa’s only nuclear power plant, was inaugurated in 1984 by the apartheid regime and is the major source of electricity for the Western Cape’s 4.5 million population.”
  •  A Christmas Memory (By Truman Capote) – “Christmas Eve afternoon we scrape together a nickel and go to the butcher’s to buy Queenie’s traditional gift, a good gnawable beef bone.”
  •  Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self (By­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Alice Walker) – “My father, a fat, funny man with beautiful eyes and a subversive wit, is trying to decide which of his eight children he will take with him to the county fair.”
  •  Bronx Primitive (By Kate Simon) – “Though her cheeks were high-colored and her teeth strong and yellow, she looked like a mechanical woman, a machine with flashing, glassy circles for eyes.”
  •  The Pride of the Yankees (By Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig) – “I have had the great honor to have played with these great veteran ballplayers on my left –Murderers Row, our championship team of 1927. I have had the further honor of living with and playing with these men on my right — the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees of today.

Overall, the appositive is a noun phrase that adds more information to another noun.


  1. Appositive | Word Sense
  2. Appositive – Examples and Definition of Appositive | Literary Devices 
  3. Appositives: What Is an Appositive Phrase? | BKA 
  4. Examples of Appositives and Appositive Noun Phrases | Your Dictionary