Using Parentheses “()” in Sentences

Parentheses (constantly utilized in sets) enable an essayist to give extra data. The incidental material may be a solitary word, a section, or different finished sentences.

Whatever the material inside the Parentheses, it must not be syntactically necessary to the encompassing sentence. In the event that it is, the sentence must be recast. This is a simple misstep to maintain a strategic distance from. Basically, read your sentence without the parentheses substance. On the off chance that it bodes well, the parentheses are satisfactory; on the off chance that it doesn’t, the accentuation must be changed.


  • Correct: The president (and his assistant) traveled by private jet.

Incorrect: The president (and his assistant) were expected to arrive by 10:00 a.m.

At the point when a parenthetical sentence remains without anyone else, the end accentuation check for the sentence is set inside the end parenthesis. The possibility that hypothetical material science can be educated without reference to complex arithmetic is obviously crazy.

At the point when parenthetical substance happens toward the finish of a bigger sentence, the end accentuation stamp for the sentence is set outside the end enclosure.

At the point when parenthetical substance happens amidst a bigger sentence, the encompassing accentuation ought to be set outside the enclosures, precisely as it would be if the incidental substance were not there.

At the point when an entire sentence happens in parentheses amidst a bigger sentence, it should not be promoted nor end with a period—however a question mark or outcry point is satisfactory.

Rule # 1

Use parentheses to enclose information that clarifies or is used as an aside.


  • He at long last replied (subsequent to taking five minutes to figure) that he didn’t comprehend the inquiry.

If the material in parentheses ends a sentence, the period goes after the parentheses.


  • He gave me a decent reward ($500).

Commas could have been used in the first example; a colon could have been used in the second example. The use of parentheses indicates that the writer considered the information less important—almost an afterthought.

Rule # 2

Periods go inside parentheses just if a whole sentence is inside the enclosures.


  • Please read the examination. (You’ll be astonished.)
  • Please read the investigation (you’ll be flabbergasted).

Take care to intersperse effectively when accentuation is required both inside and outside enclosures.


  • You are late (right?).

Note the question mark inside the enclosures. The period after the brackets is important to conclude the whole sentence. Brackets, notwithstanding appearances, are not part of the subject.


  • Joe (and his trusty mutt) was constantly welcome.

On the off chance that this appears to be ungainly, take a stab at reworking the sentence:


  • Joe (joined by his trusty mutt) was constantly welcome.
  • Commas will probably pursue brackets than go before them.


  • When he returned home, (it was at that point dull outside) he settled for supper.
  • When he returned home (it was at that point dull outside), he settled for supper.

Sections are far less basic than brackets, and they are just utilized in uncommon cases. Sections (like single quotes) are utilized solely inside cited material

An entire sentence in parentheses is often accepted without an enclosed period:


  • Please read the analysis (you’ll be amazed).

Take care to punctuate correctly when punctuation is required both inside and outside parentheses.


  • You are late (aren’t you?).

Note the question mark within the parentheses. The period after the parentheses is necessary to bring the entire sentence to a close.

Rule # 3

Parentheses, despite appearances, are not part of the subject.


  • Joe (and his trusty mutt) was always welcome.

If this seems awkward, try rewriting the sentence:


  • Joe (accompanied by his trusty mutt) was always welcome.

Rule # 4

Commas are more likely to follow parentheses than precede them.


  • Incorrect: When he got home, (it was already dark outside) he fixed dinner.

Correct: When he got home (it was already dark outside), he fixed dinner.

Rule # 5

There are many different formats for citing authors and sources within a scholarly text. Many of these formats request that information such as authors’ names and year of publication be given in a parenthetical citation. When providing citations, be sure that it is clear to your readers what exactly the citation pertains to.


  • “The proportional carbon content of this component, 20%, is very similar to that found in pine trees (Winston et al. 2010),” implying that the present study has replicated Winston et al.’s prior finding regarding the carbon content of pine trees.
  • In contrast: “The proportional carbon content of this component, 20%, is very similar to that found in pine trees (See Winston et al. 2010 for a detailed description of the analyses)” clarifies that Winston et al. established the method by which this analysis was carried out, but may not have necessarily had the same findings.

Rule # 6

The first time that an abbreviation appears in the main text, it should appear within parentheses next to its full form:


  • “Interest rates at First Regional Bank (FRB) have risen steadily over the past 20 years, despite FRB’s official corporate policy of offering affordable rates to the community.”

Rule # 7

Utilize brackets when you imagine that perusers may profit by a concise definition or rehashing of a word. Such incidental content can be a smart thought when a word has numerous conceivable distinctive definitions, or when you are utilizing an older particular word with a group of people who may not be comfortable with it. The accompanying precedent outlines not just a word that has numerous elective implications, however, one that is being utilized in a way that is likely not well-known to generally perusers:


“Sports gamblers can spend hours debating the spread (i.e., the number of points between the winner and the loser) of a big upcoming game.”

Rule # 8

Utilize brackets to present terms; i.e., words or expressions that have an unmistakably characterized importance or extension. Terms introduced incidentally are emphasized. For instance, in the sentence, “Patients were solicited to give models from terrible encounters (injury) they had encountered as kids,” injury is situationally characterized as alluding to “awful encounters.” In a paper talking about injury, the exact and steady meaning of this term guarantees that perusers don’t have any significant bearing on one of the numerous other sensible meanings of injury. Note that “i.e.” can also be used instead of parentheses to denote explanations of terms:


“Patients were asked to give examples of bad experiences, i.e., trauma, they had experienced as children.”


The last motivation to utilize parenthetical content is to pass on interference or an aside. This is normal in writing while repeating talked words: “Now, similarly as the princess was believing that all was lost—truly, Hattie, the princess’ name was Jenny, much the same as your dolly—she heard a booming thump at the front entryway.”

Interference may likewise be proper in exceptionally casual academic composition: “English is a troublesome dialect to learn, particularly for the individuals who have neither a Romance nor a Germanic local tongue.”

Notwithstanding, an excessive number of intrusions make it difficult for perusers to pursue your paper’s rationale or punctuation, and may demonstrate authoritative issues. On the off chance that you truly imagine that it is useful to perusers to embed such an inconsequential snippet of data, a commentary or end note might be less diverting.

Abbreviations and acronyms

On the first use of an abbreviation or acronym that might not be understood by your readers, the full term can be provided in parentheses.

John Smith has been appointed CKO (chief knowledge officer) of the merged company.

In reverse, an acronym or abbreviation can be provided in parentheses upon its first use, and then used in place of the full term in the remainder of the document.

In conducting the study, researchers relied on positron emission tomography (PET) and, to a lesser extent, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Parentheses and brackets must never be used interchangeably.

Rule 1. Brackets are interruptions. When we see them, we know they’ve been added by someone else. They are used to explain or comment on the quotation.


“Four score and seven [today we’d say eighty-seven] years ago…”

“Bill shook hands with [his son] Al.”

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