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Thread: apposition?

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    apposition?

    A-Is this sentence correct:
    A1-You decided to take Hopkins with you, a rookie.

    B-Isn't this sentence ambiguous:
    B1-Hastings was standing next to Sarah, a doctor.
    (Normally Sarah would be understood to be the doctor, but I think if "Hastings" is accentuated, then he would be the doctor.)

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: apposition?

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    A-Is this sentence correct:
    A1-You decided to take Hopkins with you, a rookie.
    As long as you mean to say that you were the rookie, then it is correct. If Hopkins were the rookie, you'd have to move the phrase 'a rookie'.
    You decided to take Hopkins, a rookie, with you.
    B-Isn't this sentence ambiguous:
    B1-Hastings was standing next to Sarah, a doctor.
    (Normally Sarah would be understood to be the doctor, but I think if "Hastings" is accentuated, then he would be the doctor.) I think it would be better to relocate 'a doctor'if Hastings is the doctor: Hastings, a doctor, was ....

  3. #3
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    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: apposition?

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    A-Is this sentence correct:
    A1-You decided to take Hopkins with you, a rookie.

    B-Isn't this sentence ambiguous:
    B1-Hastings was standing next to Sarah, a doctor.
    (Normally Sarah would be understood to be the doctor, but I think if "Hastings" is accentuated, then he would be the doctor.)
    Normally, nouns, adjectives, and phrases used in apposition apply to the noun or pronoun that precedes them. Any other use will produce humorous or ambiguous results.

    My dog is a problem for the groomer, having a long, curly coat.
    The meat was cooked by the chef, rare.
    My airplane ran into a bird, flying to Cleveland on business.
    A van ran into me, painted blue.
    John took care of my horse, the veterinarian.

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