- a preposition, a noun or pronoun, and any modifiers.
on ending a sentence with a preposition
"What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to out of up for?" -attributed to E.B. White)
- present or past participles plus modifiers and complements
- act as adjectives
- If they come at the beginning of a sentence, they are usually set off by commas.
- If they come in the middle of a sentence, they are set off by a comma. If they act as interrupters, they have commas on both sides.
- The clock, broken since August, was thrown in the trash.
- Loving his job in sales, my husband hates the thought of retiring.
- Working on my project, I developed writer's block.
- the infinitive plus modifiers and complements.
- can act as adjective, adverb, or noun.
- To start the car, he needed the key.
noun phrase (& vocatives)
- a noun with modifiers.
- packed noun phrases: nuclear abolition regulations, a market analysis survey, ground zero operations.
A temptation in technical writing, but tough to understand.
- vocatives: a direct address: Miranda, finish your oatmeal. Set off by commas. Don't, however, be tempted to set off all names, willy-nilly. Miranda was eating her oatmeal.
- gerunds (verbals ending in -ing that act like nouns) plus modifiers and complements.
Speaking loudly is not effective when communicating with the deaf.
- Act as nouns.
- May contain infinitives. e.g. Jogging in a thunderstorm is not a good idea.
- a noun or pronoun + a participle + any modifiers.
- The time for the exam nearly finished, Sam abruptly decided to answer different questions altogether.
- Greta walked to class, books tucked under her arm.
- The children put the cake in the oven, their faces smiling.
- She kept close to the wall in the dark, her cell phone clutched in her hand.
- When the participle is a form of to be, it is sometimes left out.
The time [being] up, the instructor collected the exams.
- can act like a prepositional phrase, an adjective phrase, or a noun phrase.
- re-naming or amplification of the noun it immediately follows.
- Uncle Harold, a scoundrel of the first water, absconded with my grandmother's diamonds.
- George Bush, the worst president ever, is going to be the downfall of our country.
- infinitive phrases, etc. can act as appositives.
- Her goal, to become valedictorian, is finally within reach.
- Hint: Remember that apposite is the opposite of opposite. An appositive is the same as the noun it follows.