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.)

See Also

What is an appositive? Choosing commas, dashes, or parentheses Using colons for introductions Glossary of grammatical terms