Day 124: Character Guide and Appositives

Today in class we learned about appositives and writing brief character descriptions.

Here’s what an appositive is:

a noun phrase that renames a noun to give more information

For example

  • Take the sentence, “Ms. Garvoille sometimes dances in class.” Who is Ms. Garvoille, though? That’s where the appositive comes in.
  • Ms. Garvoille, my English teacher, sometimes dances in class.
    • my English teacher is the appositive
    • it’s a noun phrase because the word TEACHER is a noun
    • This is not an appositive: Ms. Garvoille, intelligent and friendly, sometimes dances in class.
      • It’s not an appositive because neither intelligent nor friendly are nouns. They’re adjectives. Those are just adjectival modifiers, not appositives.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird is told through the eyes of Scout Finch, a girl of five at the beginning of the novel, who narrates from an adult perspective.
  • My mother, the best cook in the world, always makes me a birthday dinner.
Or you could watch these videos:

And here you can test yourself on the rules:

Quiz yourself on commas

Write your own appositives

We wrote our character descriptions using appositives during class.

HW: Write descriptions for all the characters in your novel over the weekend. Do this in your Google Document below your plot summary. Here are some examples from Wikipedia:

  • George Milton, a quick-witted man, is Lennie’s guardian and best friend.
  • Lennie Small, a mentally disabled, but physically strong man, travels with George and is his constant companion.[4] He dreams of “living off the fatta’ the lan'” and being able to tend to rabbits.
  • Candy, an aging ranch handyman, lost his hand in an accident and worries about his future on the ranch.

Try not to go into too much plot detail in your character descriptions. Focus on physical appearance and psychological characteristics without original research.