What is an appositive? An appositive is a word or group of words that explain or define a noun. Appositives follow the nouns they explain.
When to Use Commas
Appositives can be either restrictive or nonrestrictive. I teach students to first locate the appositive by finding the phrase that describes the noun. Next, I ask students to read the sentence skipping the appositive. If the meaning of the sentence is clear without the appositive, then it is nonrestrictive [CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.2.A]. Use commas to separate nonrestrictive elements from the rest of the sentence.