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"An arrest occurs when a person has been taken into custody, or kept under the control of police, and is not free to leave."

Wanted to see if the middle sentence "or kept under the control of police" is an appositive and requires commas on either side - It was meant to be written as an appositive with "or kept under the control of police" clarifying "has been taken into custody."

  • when a person has been taken into custody, or kept under the control of police, and is not free to leave is reduced by Conjunction Reduction from when a person has been taken into custody, or when a person has been kept under the control of police, and when that person is not free to leave. There are no appositives here. – John Lawler Sep 26 '19 at 19:58
  • apposition is set off by commas: My favorite dessert, chocolate mousse cake, is very fattening. – Lambie Sep 26 '19 at 20:09
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It depends on the speaker's intention.

If the speaker's intention is to simply rephrase the word "custody," then it is. It's an appositive because what follows is just a renaming of the word "custody."

If the speaker's intention is to specify how they mean "custody," say to contrast it from a legal definition that means the person is under arrest, then it's not. In this situation, it's modifying "custody" to explain which "custody" is being referring to, i.e., a lay one and not a legal one. It's not an appositive because what follows isn't just a renaming of the word "custody" as it restrictively describes which of any number of versions of the word is being used.

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