Posted by: Jack Henry | April 11, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Punctuation of Appositives

Good morning.

I imagine your first question after reading the subject line is, what the heck is an appositive? I’m right there with you. So, let’s start with a definition. An appositive is a word or phrase that is equivalent and has the same meaning as another word or phrase in the same sentence. For example, the appositive in the following sentence is in italics:

· Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, was the company’s first female engineer and became the youngest CEO when she took over at age 37.

In the example, Marissa Mayer is an appositive for Yahoo’s CEO. In other words, Marissa Mayer and Yahoo’s CEO are the same person.

And here’s some information on how to punctuate appositives. When you use an appositive in the middle of your sentence, you need to encase it in commas as in the example above. Here are a couple more examples:

· My dog, Rover, doesn’t like other dogs. [my dog = Rover]

· During dinner, John, the loudest person at the table, told an off-color joke. [John = the loudest person at the table]

And if you use an appositive at the end of your sentence, place a comma before the appositive and a period after it, like this:

· No one wanted to sit next to John, the loudest person at the table.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

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