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Using Pronouns as Appositives

The notional definition of a noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. Pronouns are a subcategory of nouns that take the place of nouns, noun phrases, noun clauses, and other grammatical forms. A noun phrase is a phrase that consists of a noun including a pronoun plus any modifiers, complements, or determiners.

In grammar, an appositive is a word, phrase, or clause that supports another word, phrase, or clause by describing or modifying the other word, phrase, or clause. Although nouns and noun phrases most often perform the function, pronouns can also function as appositives. Examples of pronouns as appositives include the following:

  • That man, him, stole my wallet. (personal pronoun)
  • Those children, him and her, are mine. (personal pronoun)
  • The winners are these two cakes, hers and his. (personal pronoun)
  • A man brought a package for the team leader, you. (personal pronoun)
  • The file, that, is what you need to finish the project. (demonstrative pronoun)
  • Twelve of the cakes, these, go to the Obi-wan party. (demonstrative pronoun)
  • The use of pronouns as appositives is more frequent in speech than in writing.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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