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She is thrilled to use her writing talents to support her favorite causes, education being chief among them all.

Is the italic part an appositive phrase?

Also, will it be equally fine to use 'with' before education?

She is thrilled to use her writing talents to support her favorite causes, with education being chief among them all.

Thanks.

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  • I would hesitate to call this an appositive construction. It seems more like an absolute.
    – Anonym
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 5:23

2 Answers 2

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I'm feeling a little shaky on this one. I want to take a stab at it, but someone who knows appositives better might come along and correct me, in which case I'll recant and go hide in a corner.

An appositive phrase is a noun phrase that renames another noun or noun phrase right next to it. Example:

Martha, the president of the company, called her assistant on her mobile phone.

"The president of the company" is the appositive.

Now let's look at your sentence:

She is thrilled to use her writing talents to support her favorite causes, education being chief among them all.

Yes, this does appear to be an appositive phrase. "Education" renames "favorite causes." And "being chief among them" is a adjectival participle phrase modifying "education."

Your second question was about adding "with" to the sentence, like so:

She is thrilled to use her writing talents to support her favorite causes, with education being chief among them all.

Yes, this is equally correct, though now it no longer qualifies as an appositive. It's just a run-of-the-mill adjectival prepositional phrase.

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  • thank you. one doubt i still have is that sentence states "support her favorite causes" (i.e. more than one) but the appositive names only one cause.
    – sushant
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 5:46
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No, IMO

She is thrilled to use her writing talents to support her favorite causes, education being chief among them all.

doesn't show an appositive.

This would be an appositive:

She is thrilled to use her writing talents to support her favorite cause, education.

The structure isn't wrong, but "education being chief among them all" it's just not an appositive phrase. It's an absolute phrase.

Read up here on both of them.

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  • thanks for replying. then does that mean the structure is wrong? why education ( a noun) is written after another causes (a noun too)?
    – sushant
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 5:49
  • @sushant. Please see the updated answer. Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 6:26
  • thank you Marius. I've got it now. I didn't know about absolute phrase earlier.
    – sushant
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 16:14

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