Grammar 16


Appositive Phrases

The word "appositive" comes from the Latin for “to put near.” An appositive is a noun (or noun phrase) which you “put near” another noun in order to describe it or identify it. We say that the appositive "renames" the noun.

Here are some examples:

 Check Your Understanding

  1. Which noun does “the biggest city in the world” rename? (Mexico City)
  2. Which noun does “the capitol of Colorado” rename? (Denver)
  3. Which noun does “the best football team in the U.S.” rename? (Denver Broncos)

Appositives are extremely common in journalistic writing, where they are typically used to introduce people and sources.

If the appositive is short, it can be placed before the noun that it renames, without using a comma.  

Instructions for the quiz:

Identify the underlined phrase.

Big Hint: The last 4 choices are not the answer, since you have not yet studied these phrases.


  1. Mr. Dawson, my math teacher, is always late.









Answer: "My math teacher" is an appositive phrase that renames "Mr. Dawson", so the answer is B.