Is this an apposition?

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Pete Sampras will leave the game as he played it, a modest, easy, all-time great.

(This comes from August 25, 2003 A Great One Goes Out in Style, His Own Style in Washington Post)


Are "Pete Sampras" and "a modest, easy, all-time great" in apposition to each other?

I'm not sure because the latter is not immediately after the former, that is, Pete Sampras, a modest, easy, all-time great, will leave...

Thanks in advance!
 
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The final phrase is not in apposition to the subject; it is related to it by means of the verb.
    The phrase is part of the predicate or complement of the verb.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The final phrase is not in apposition to the subject; it is related to it by means of the verb.
    The phrase is part of the predicate or complement of the verb.
    :confused:Sorry, I cannot understand it. Could you please rephrase it or give me another example that is similar to this structure?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The verb phrase 'leave the game' can be followed by a predicative, a phrase describing the subject, Pete Sampras. Examples in a moment, but note first the difference between an object and a predicative: Sampras will leave the game. 'The game' is the object, and it is a different thing from Sampras. Sampras will leave the game world champion. Here 'world champion' is a predicative: it's another way of describing Sampras. Predicatives can be adjective phrases, or noun phrases, or 'as'-phrases.

    Sampras will leave the game famous.
    Sampras will leave the game very rich.
    Sampras will leave the game a very rich man.
    Sampras will leave the game world champion.
    Sampras will leave the game as a very rich man.
    Sampras will leave the game a modest, easy, all-time great.

    Appositives are also ways of describing something or someone two different ways, but my examples above are not classed as appositive. In a true appositive, the two descriptions are in the same function (subject and subject, perhaps):

    Sampras, the world champion, will leave the game famous for his backhand. [Or butterfly stroke, or whatever it is he does.]
    Sampras will leave the game this week, the focus of his life for twenty years.

    Although in my second example the two parts are separated by a time phrase, they refer to the same thing and are in the same grammatical function, object. In your original example 'as he played it' is a manner phrase - I was confused at first because it begins with 'as', as predicatives can, but now I've decided it's just an interruption like my phrase 'this week'. So there is no apposition in your sentence.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The verb is providing a connection between the subject and the final phrase. That is predication.

    This is apposition:
    Pete Sampras, a modest, easy, all-time great, will leave the game in the same way as he played it.

    Another example of predication:
    He emerged, after a hard struggle, the undisputed victor.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    You could argue that Pete Sampras and a modest, easy, all-time great are in apposition to each other. After all, you could rewrite the sentence as Pete Sampras, a modest, easy, all-time great, will leave the game as he played it. I'm not sure I agree with wandle. The object of the verb is it and not a modest, easy, all-time great. You can't play a great.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Sampras will leave the game world champion. Here 'world champion' is a predicative: it's another way of describing Sampras.
    QUOTE]

    Thank you very much, entangledbank!

    I'd like to know if there is difference in meaning between sentence 1 and 2:
    1. Sampras will leave the game very rich.
    2. Sampras will leave the game and he is very rich.

    1. Sampras will leave the game a modest, easy, all-time great.
    2. Sampras will leave the game and he is a modest, easy, all-time great.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    There is a difference in each case. Sentence (2) merely presents two facts alongside each other.
    Sentence (1), by using terms predicatively, creates a connection of meaning between the two facts.

    'Sampras will leave the game very rich' implies: 'very rich as a result of his performance'.

    'Sampras will leave the game a modest, easy, all-time great' implies: 'having established himself by his play and conduct as a modest, easy, all-time great'.
     
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