Appositives: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

When you are writing, it is important to add detail to your sentences. There are many different types of words that are used to give readers more information. In this lesson, you'll learn about appositives and their purpose in writing.

What are Appositives?

What do all the words in italics in the following sentences have in common?

  • The soccer stadium, a popular hangout in Brazil, was crowded for the championship game.
  • My friend Jill had front row seats to the game.
  • The concession stand sold churros, a Spanish pastry.

If you said they are all appositives, then you kicked a shot straight into the net! GOAL!

Appositives are words or phrases that are used before or after other nouns or pronouns to further describe them. In the examples, the appositives gave the reader additional information about the nouns and pronouns in the sentences.

Chart of Example Appositives

Want to find out more about the different types of appositives? Game on!

Essential Appositives

If someone gave you a tub of different types of sports balls and asked you to pick out the ball for today's game, would you know which one to pick? Without information about what type of game you're playing, it would be hard to guess which ball to choose. Likewise, when someone writes, they may need to add specific details about a noun or pronoun so the reader understands what the sentence is about.

Essential appositives are appositives that are needed for the reader to completely understand a sentence. Without an essential appositive, the reader may not fully understand the meaning of the sentence or have questions about it. Essential appositives are written directly next to the noun or pronoun they describe without using any commas.

Look at the following sentence:

Give your friend Anna the extra cleats to wear during the soccer game.

Do you know which word is an essential appositive?

The word 'Anna' is an essential appositive. It gives a name to the noun 'friend.' This appositive tells the reader exactly who needs the extra cleats. Without this appositive, you would probably ask yourself which friend needs the cleats. The appositive helps identify which specific player the sentence is about. Otherwise, Anna's going to be playing the soccer game about footwork!

Nonessential Appositives

Do you like to play tennis? Rob sure does. Let's take a look at some sentences about Rob the tennis player.

Examples of Nonessential Appositives
nonessential appositives

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