An Introductory Series of Appositive. Example:The depressed, the stressed, the lonely, the fearful— all have trouble coping with problems. My doubt is on which basis "The depressed, the stressed, the lonely, the fearful" these words considered as appositives? Could anyone please clarify my doubt?

  • 2
    No, they are not appositives, but just a list of NPs functioning as subject. By definition, an appositive is a specifying NP which can be substituted for the whole apposition yielding an entailment of the original. But your example fails because none of the NPs can be considered to be 'specifying' what the other is.
    – BillJ
    Sep 3 '17 at 12:10
  • @BilJ Isn't the subject of that sentence "all"? Which would make the phrase in question an appositive. Sep 3 '17 at 12:56
  • @MarkBeadles No, an appositive NP always follows the NP it modifies or is anchored to. Appositive NPs are specifying, but there is nothing specifying about "all". In any case, an appositive by definition must be capable of being substituted for the entire supplementation yielding an entailment of the original. But that is not the case here since "All have trouble coping with problems" is meaningless without "all" having an antecedent. Btw, "all" here is an optional adjunct, not the subject of the sentence.
    – BillJ
    Sep 4 '17 at 9:12

No, they are not appositives. Apposition is when one noun phrase describes another. For example,

Solomon, a wise king, ruled the Kingdom of Israel for many years.

In this example, the phrase "a wise king" is placed in apposition with Solomon.

In your example, there is simply a series of independent noun phrases, separated by commas. None of them describe the other in any way.

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