From a history book I'm reading:
"His wife Bertha was a Christian, a Frankish princess who had brought her own chaplain from Paris."
The description "a Frankish princess who had brought her own chaplain from Paris" is what's called an appositive, meaning it gives more information about something. For example, in the sentence "Ellen DeGeneres, a comedian, is a judge on American Idol," "a comedian" is an appositive. The sentence wouldn't sound right if it read like this: "Ellen DeGeneres is a judge on American Idol, a comedian."
That's the same problem as in the incorrect sentence. The appositive would sound a lot better in the middle: "His wife Bertha, a Frankish princess who had brought her own chaplain from Paris, was a Christian."
Ask Me a Question
If you have a writing, grammar, style or punctuation question, send an e-mail message to curiouscase at sign hotmail dot com.
Add Your Own Criminal Sentence!
If you find a particularly terrible sentence somewhere, post it for all to see (go here and put it in the Comments section).