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(EDIT: It's called a noun phrase, not a clause)

I'm wondering what the correct term for this type of clause is, and what the appropriate punctuation is. For example:

"I have lost my red hat, the hat I got for Christmas."

Is a comma the correct punctuation mark here, and what is the term for phraselike the one after the comma?

  • (1) the comma is correct. (2) the construction is called an Appositive; the two noun phrases my red hat and the hat I got for Christmas are said to be in apposition. (3) these are noun phrases, not clauses. There is a relative clause -- (that) I got for Christmas -- in the last part, but it modifies hat and is part of the noun phrase. Clauses always have a predicate, and normally a verb. – John Lawler Jun 3 '14 at 20:11
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"I have lost my red hat, the hat I got for Christmas."

It is a well-formed sentence, including the punctuation. :)

The expression "the hat I got for Christmas" is a noun phrase (NP) and is known as an appositive NP. That NP is part of a supplementary type of apposition, and could be substituted for the whole supplementation: "I have lost the hat I got for Christmas."--which is entailed by your original example.

The expression "the hat (that) I got for Christmas" is a noun phrase (NP), which is headed by the noun "hat(i)", and which has as a modifier the relative clause "(that) I got __(i) for Christmas".

(EDITED: Yeah, I type slow.)

  • Thank you. Should I edit the title to correct my mistake in referring to the noun phrase as a clause? – karl Jun 3 '14 at 20:32
  • @karl Sure, why not. :) -- (Remember to edit the body of the text too.) – F.E. Jun 3 '14 at 20:33

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