just a cardio workout, 'just a run up and down a hill' [appositive phrase?]


Senior Member
NZ English
You should devote your Thursday training to just a cardio workout, just a run up and down a hill.

I will give you some fruit, a banana and orange, to take to training.

Are the emboldened phrases appositives? My belief is no, since they don't rename the preceding noun as much as they name examples of that noun.

So what phrase-type are we dealing with here?

  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It may depend on your definition of the term "appositive". To my mind apposition can include constructions such as the opera Carmen, where "Carmen" is an example of an opera, though the term "Carmen" does not equate to the term "opera".

    If you accept that, then there's not much difficulty, I think, in accepting an appositive label for a cardio workout, just a run up and down a hill or some fruit, a banana and orange. I'd say just a run up and down a hill has the same relationship to cardio workout as Carmen does to the opera.

    I look forward to others' views: I have no doubt at least some will disagree with me:)



    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, I'll agree with that: the opera Carmen is a classic example of apposition. So are both meanings of my brother George, where the apposition can be either defining (the brother of mine whose name is George) or non-defining (my brother, and his name is George).

    I'm not sure what specific terminology I'd use to distinguish the cardio workout examples from renaming ones like the Prime Minister, Mr Cameron. I think I'd say the cardio workout ones are ascriptive, while the renaming ones are specifying. This is the distinction between the two meanings of 'be':

    Mr Cameron is a Conservative. [ascribing a property to him]
    Mr Cameron is the Prime Minister. [specifying what he is]
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