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The use of articles with nouns in apposition.
Nouns in apposition and nouns forming part of an apposition are used with the indefinite article if the speaker states that the object expressed by the noun in apposition belongs to a certain class.
I want to introduce you to Terry,a great friend of mine.
In the plural no article is used.
I want to introduce you to Terry and Caroline, great friends of mine.
Nouns in apposition or nouns forming part of an apposition are used with the definite article if they are modified by a particularizing attribute.
John,the student you have mentioned, has come.
If the noun denotes a well-known person or work of art, the definite article is generally used.
Pushkin,the great Russian poet, died in 1837.
Hamlet,the immortal tragedy by Shakespeare, was written in the first years of the 17th century.
But if the person or the work of art is not widely known the indefinite article is used.
Pericles,a comedy by Shakespeare, is hardly ever staged.
No article is generally used with a noun in apposition when the opposition expresses a post which can be occupied by one person at a time. Occasionally the definite article is used.
Professor Petrov, director(the director) of the Medical Institute, is going to deliver a lecture.
Mr. Edwards, dean(the dean) of the English department, has left for New York.
§ 23. Class nouns used in address take no article. Come downstairs, child. (Voynich)
Place of the article.
The usual place of the article is before the noun if it is not modified by an attribute; if the noun is modified by an attribute, the article is placed before the latter. However, there are cases when the article follows the attribute.
1. The definite article follows the attribute expressed by the pronouns both, all.
Boththe stories were interesting.
Allthe stories were interesting.
2.The indefinite article follows the attribute expressed by an adjective after so, too, as.
Mr. Pickwick could not resist so temptingan opportunity of studying human nature. (Dickens)
You compel me to tell you that this is too seriousa matter to be treated in such a fashion. (Dreiser)
It was as blacka house inside as outside. (Dickens)
3.The indefinite article follows quite, such, what (what in exclamatory sentences).
She is quitea child.
I've never heard of sucha thing.
Whata wonderful piece of luck!
The indefinite article either precedes or follows rather.
This enquiry envolved the respected lady in rathera delicate position. (Dickens)
They stop and interchangea rather heated look. (Dickens)