Encouraged by her teacher, Vanessa decided to enter the short story contest with a story about her experience growing up in Canada.

Are "her experience" and "growing up in Canada" in apposition? Is "her experience growing up in Canada" is the same as "her experience of growing up in Canada" ?

If they are not in apposition, I don't understand what kind of relation they are in. If we take "growing" as a present participle, then its subject should be "her experience". But, "her experience is growing" is nonsensical.

EDIT:I corrected the error "from her teacher".

  • I don't see the two phrases as being in apposition. You might add to the question why you are uncertain. – user3169 Sep 7 '15 at 18:27
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    In AmE we would probaby say "Encouraged by her teacher... – Brian Hitchcock Sep 8 '15 at 2:34
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    I really wonder too why there is no "of" used and is this a native language users problem or a valid usage of words? – Berker Yüceer Sep 9 '15 at 13:22
  • It could as easily be "her experience when growing up in Canada" as "her experience of growing up in Canada" – Euan M Nov 17 '15 at 5:46

It is fine as written. The extra "of" is not wrong but really unnecessary.
Why do you want to add it?

Also, in context I think it would be better to write "her experiences" since no doubt there were many different ones.

Encouraged by her teacher, Vanessa decided to enter the short story contest with a story about her experiences growing up in Canada.

Singular is better reserved for a specific topic:

My experience as a public servant would make me a great president.


I would prefer "her experience as a child growing up in Canada". I think "experience + growing up in Canada" is no good connection.


According to 17.35 Appositive postmodification by infinitive and -ing clauses (p.1271) [1], they seem to be in apposition.

The -ing clause functions as appositive postmodification in examples like

  • I'm looking for a job driving cars. ['a job as a driver']
  • We can offer you a career counselling delinquents.
  • There is plenty of work (for us) shovelling snow.

[1]A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Lanugage, Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik, Longman (1985).


Two noun phrases are in apposition if they are next to one another, and they refer to the same thing.

In this example, it is "her experience", and specifically, out of all the experiences she has had, the one of "growing up in Canada"

So they are side-by-side, and they refer to the same thing. Usually apposition is about two noun phrases. In this case, "growing up in Canada" is a gerund - a word ​ending in "-ing" that is made from a ​verb and used like a ​noun.

So we have two noun phrases, side by side, referring to the same thing: how apposite.

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