The Apposition Versus the Subordinate Clause

Last updated: July 5, 2017 at 0:42 am

fence photoThe opposition is  a concise form of explanation. For example:

Mr. George W. Bush, the President of the United States, has ordered an invasion of Iraq.

In the above sentence, the words “the President of the United States” is in apposition to the subject “Mr. George W. Bush”. Those words are separated by commas, and gives additional information about Mr. George W. Bush. This is whole concept of the apposition in English grammar.

But we can use another technique to express the same thought. Look at this new sentence expressing the same thought:

Mr. George W. Bush, who is the President of the United States, has ordered an invasion of Iraq.

In the sentence above, the words “who is the President of the United States” is a subordinate clause. It serves the same purpose as the apposition, however, it has both a subject and a predicate.

Subject: who

Predicate: is the president of the United States.

We know that a group of words with both subject and predicate is called a clause. In this case, it is a subordinate clause, since it doesn’t make sense on its own.

So we have two choices when giving additional information about a noun or pronoun: opposition or subordinate clause. Which one is better? It depends. Since the opposition uses less words, use the opposition for economy of words. But since variety is the spice of all tasty things, use a combination of both.

In short, use which one makes your writing sound better.

Here are two groups of sentences. One group uses the subordinate clause, and the other uses the apposition.

Group A: Subordinate Clauses

  1. Guyana, which is the land of many waters, has an interesting history.
  2. The first people, who are the Amerindians, came from Asia in search of food.
  3. Berbice, which is the ancient county, was first ruled by the Dutch.
  4. The British, who were from England, later took control of the territory.
  5. Sugar, which is now a dying industry, was the gold rush of those times.

 

Group B: The Apposition

  1. Guyana, the land of many waters, has an interesting history.
  2. The first people, the Amerindians, came from Asia in search of food.
  3. Berbice, the ancient county, was first ruled by the Dutch.
  4. The British, coming from England, later took control of the territory.
  5. Sugar, a dying industry, was the gold rush of those times.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz