The Inside Write Stuff – appositives add clarity and punch

An appositive follows the noun it defines.

(1) The lease provision stalled the negotiations as both sides considered how to allocate the income from signage rights. The provision was one-sidedly in favor of the landlord.

(2) The lease provision, which was one-sidedly in favor of the landlord, stalled the negotiations as both sides considered how to allocate the income from signage rights.

(3) The lease provision, one-sidedly in favor of the landlord, stalled the negotiations as both sides considered how to allocate the income from signage rights.

The first version clunks along with its two sentences. Version (2) improves the flow with a relative clause introduced by “which.” Version (3) shortens that form to an appositive, where you strip off the form of “to be” in the succeeding sentence, that defines the provision with emphasis and adroitly streamlines the prose.

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