that a Restrictive or Nonrestrictive Appositive?
are used to give more information about a noun (by using another noun
or noun phrase). But, sometimes, we use commas to set off the new noun
or noun phrase in “apposition” and at others we do not. How to tell the
When the noun or noun phrase is essential to a
sentence’s meaning, no commas are used: “Have you read the novel The
Crossing?” Knowing the title of the novel is essential, isn’t it? In
this case, we call the the phrase “restrictive.”
however, the noun or noun phrase is not essential to a sentence’s
meaning: “Cormac McCarthy, the novelist, is fond of eating pizza.” In
this case the phrase is “nonrestrictive” and, although it helps those
who may not know his profession, it is not essential to the meaning of
Practice writing both kinds and, soon, your writing will improve.
(December 5, 2010)
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