Easy Learning English

Brackets ( ) - Easy Learning Grammar

Brackets (also called parentheses) are used to enclose a word or words which can be left out and still leave a meaningful sentence.
  • The wooded area (see map below) is approximately 4,000 hectares.
  • This is a process which Hayek (a writer who came to rather different conclusions) also observed.
Brackets are also used to show alternatives or options.
  • Any student(s) interested in taking part should e-mail me.
  • A goat should give from three to six pints (1.7 to 3.4 litres) of milk a day.
Note that when the structure of the sentence as a whole demands punctuation after a bracketed section, the punctuation is given outside the brackets.
  • I haven’t yet spoken to John (I mean John Maple, my boss), but I have a meeting with him on Friday.
  • For lunch we had sandwiches (pastrami on rye and so on), salami, coleslaw, fried chicken, and potato salad.
Punctuation is given before the closing brackets only when it applies to the bracketed section rather than to the sentence as a whole.
  • He’s very handsome (positively gorgeous in fact!) and still single.

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