Name: ___________________


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Grammar, Punctuation, and Style
2.12 Punctuation - Parentheses ( )


Brackets (also called parentheses) enclose extra information or explanations which interrupt the normal progression of the sentence.

To add information:

  • Additional information is enclosed in brackets if the information is not essential for the understanding of the sentence.
    Example: Jack (Jill's brother) bought the tickets.

    Depending on the importance attached to it, additional information can be enclosed in brackets, commas or dashes.
    Brackets - not importantCommas - neutralDashes - emphasized
    Jack (Jill's brother) bought the tickets.Jack, Jill's brother, bought the tickets.Jack–Jill's brother–bought the tickets.

For expanding abbreviations:

  • Use parentheses to show the expanded forms of abbreviations
    Example: He was an active member of the IOC (International Olympic Committee).

To make an idea clearer:

  • Parentheses are used to make an idea clearer.
    Example: Five of the students provided background music (humming very quietly) for the singer.

With telephone numbers:

  • Used parentheses to indicate the area code in phone numbers
    Example: (111) 222-3333

Directions: Read the sentences and find if the parentheses have been used correctly. Write your own examples for the parentheses usage rules given above. As a homework, read a book or an article and find examples of parentheses usage.

Name: ___________________

Q 1: The map (figure 2) will help you understand the explorer's route.

Q 2: Larry Nancy's boyfriend (bought) the mail.

Q 3: The Department of Transportation (DOT) is having an official meeting today.

Q 4: My uncle (the one that is really nice) came to visit yesterday.

Q 5: Go to Chapter 8 (pages 67-92) from more information on magnets.

Q 6: The team has been meeting every day for the past three weeks (excluding weekends, of course,) but still have not been able to get enough practice.

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Question 8: This question is available to subscribers only!

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