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English Grammar

Using Appositives in Sentences

An appositive is a noun phrase that describes a noun. It usually begins with "a," "an," or "the."

A thin woman, she disappeared in the crowd.
My sister, a thin woman, disappeared in the crowd.
She disappeared, a thin woman.
The best seafood restaurant in our city, the Fish House, is always full of people.
I ate at the Fish House, the best seafood restaurant in our city.
An old man with a limp, he always needs some extra help from his family.
He, an old man with a limp, always needs some extra help from his family.
The family always helps Bob, an old man with a limp.
* Note, when an appositive comes at the end, it should refer to the noun nearest to it. If another noun gets in between, that can be confusing.

Using Gerunds in Sentences

A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that acts as a noun or as another part of speech. You can tell that it is a Gerund if you cannot remove it without disrupting the sentence. Compare gerunds to participles.

Hiking is fun.
We talked about hiking.
Taking vacations is essential for good health.
I enjoy taking a vacation every year.
Chatting with the manager helps to give you job security.
You can get job security by chatting with the manager.


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