An appositive is a specific type of interrupter.  It is a complicated name for a simple idea.  An appositive is a word or a group of words used directly after a noun to explain it or to rename it. 

Since an appositive adds extra information about the noun it follows, if it is removed, the sentence that remains is still a complete thought.  Because it is extra information, it must be set off with commas.

Use commas to set off appositives from the rest of the sentence.

Let's practice working with appositives by punctuating these sentences correctly.

  1. Jennifer my best friend is so much fun to be with.

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  2. I met her at the first practice for soccer our favorite sport.

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  3. Mr. Hansen the soccer coach paired us up for a drill.

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  4. I met Danielle a good friend of Jennifer's after practice.

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  5. The Terrible Trio that is us have been inseparable ever since!

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How did you do?  Remember, to check whether a word or phrase is an appositive, try removing it from the sentence.  If you still have a complete idea without it, it is an appositive and you need to use commas to separate it from the rest of the sentence.

Click on the Chalk board to return to
the commas with
appositives lesson page!


There are many other important and useful comma rules that you should know to improve your communication when you write.  Follow the links below to the lessons that introduce them:

in dates, addresses, & letters

in a



Commas in Compound Sentences

Commas in Direct Address


Commas With


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