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What Is Parenthesis in Apposition? (with Examples)

What Is Parenthesis in Apposition? (with Examples)

Parenthesis in apposition is a word (or words) used to rename or re-describe a nearby noun (usually a noun immediately to its left). Like any parenthesis, it can be removed without damaging the grammatical structure of the sentence. For example (parenthesis in apposition shaded):
  • Peter, my mate from school, won the lottery.
  • (The parenthesis describes Peter, the noun to its left.)
    (Note: "my mate from school" = "Peter")
  • My dog, Ollie, loves cake.
  • (The parenthesis renames My dog, the noun to its left.)
    (Note: "Ollie" = "My dog")
The term in apposition means the same. Therefore, when a parenthesis is the same thing as what it follows, it is called parenthesis in apposition.

A parenthesis can be offset with brackets, commas, or dashes (called parenthetical punctuation).

Examples of Parenthesis in Apposition

Here are some examples of parenthesis in apposition (shaded):
  • Kent Oliver — the only professional jockey from Jersey — won his first race on Tuesday.
  • (In this example, dashes have been used as parenthetical punctuation.)
    (Kent Oliver is the professional jockey. The parenthesis is the same the thing it follows. This is parenthesis in apposition.)

  • At midnight last night, Skip (a guard dog for Bonds Ltd in Bury) hospitalized two intruders who broke into the company yard.
  • (brackets used as parenthetical punctuation)
    (Skip is the guard dog. This is parenthesis in apposition.)
  • Jamie Buxton, who fainted in church with alcohol poisoning during his wedding, apologized to his wife for ruining their wedding.
  • (commas used as parenthetical punctuation)
    (This is not parenthesis in apposition. The parenthesis is not the same as the thing it follows.)
  • Paul, on the other hand, is considered extremely trustworthy.
  • (commas used as parenthetical punctuation)
    (This is not parenthesis in apposition.)
  • Prices in Alton, a small town only 25 minutes from London, are soaring.
  • (This is parenthesis in apposition.)
Note

What is an Appositive?

An appositive is a noun, a noun phrase, or a noun clause which sits next to another noun to rename it or to describe it in another way. (The word appositive comes from the Latin for to put near.)

Read more about appositives.

What Is Parenthesis?

A parenthesis offers additional information to a sentence. It is offset with brackets, commas, or dashes (called parenthetical punctuation). If a parenthesis is removed from a sentence, the sentence is still grammatically sound.

Read more about parenthesis.
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