Could you please explain restrictive appositives (Like, Have you read the novel
a Separate Peace). Where you don’t use commas. I find it a bit confusing.
If you need a refresher, an appositive is:
An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that renames another noun right beside it. The appositive can be a short or long combination of words. Look at these appositive examples, all of which rename insect: The insect, a cockroach, is crawling across the kitchen table.
Nouns are said to be “in apposition” when a noun or noun phrase is used to identify, define, or tell more about a preceding noun.
When the appositive noun (the second one) is essential to the meaning of the sentence, it is said to be “restrictive.” In that case, no comma is used:
Have you read the novel A Separate Peace?
“A Separate Peace” specifies which novel is meant. It is necessary to the meaning of the sentence.
When the appositive noun provides additional information that can be omitted without altering the sentence’s main thought, it is said to be “nonrestrictive.”
George Clooney, the actor, is a social activist.
“The actor” is additional information. Commas are used to separate it from the main thought.