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  1. wynnmyintuu's Avatar
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    #1

    Lightbulb appositive or not

    Can the following be called Appositive construction?
    "Which do you prefer, tea or coffe?"

  2. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: appositive or not

    No. Look here for a definition of appositive. appositive - definition and examples of appositives in English

  3. wynnmyintuu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: appositive or not

    If it is not appositive, please explain the construction. Can we say it is just a usual construction with a "Which" question?

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    #4

    Re: appositive or not

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello,

    I could (easily) be wrong, but I believe that your sentence does contain an appositive.

    1. Here is what one American high school grammar book *** says:

    "Though the appositive is usually placed close after the word it explains, it may be separated from that word
    by other parts of the sentence."


    That book gives this sentence:

    "Two students in our class have already won four-year scholarships -- Shelley and Pat." "Shelley and Pat" is in apposition with "students."

    It is only my guess that you could also write it this way:" Two students, Shelley and Pat, have already won four-year scholarships."

    *****

    Thus, in my (very) humble opinion, "tea or coffee" is in apposition with "which [drink]."

    Maybe this can be more clearly brought out if we arrange your question in "regular" order (only for analysis):

    "You do prefer which, tea or coffee?"


    Sincerely yours,


    James

    *** Guide to Modern English (Copyright 1965, 1960) by Corbin, Blough, and Beek, page 323.

    Here's another example from their book:

    "There was only one thing missing in the novel -- a plot."

    They do NOT give the answer. My guess is that "a plot" is in apposition with "thing." That is:

    "There was only one thing, a plot, missing in the novel."

    What do you think?

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