I wonder what to do about parentheses that follow each other, as in this phrase: "(I have taken out my comments in the GoogleDoc (and corrected a couple of spelling errors thanks to Grammarly) )." I put a space between the last two parentheses, but don't know if that's proper or not.


1 Answer 1


Actually, you should not put parenthesis within parenthesis. It makes a mess of where the parenthetical statements begin and end. If you need to make a parenthetical statement within parenthesis, and commas do not suffice, you should use square brackets instead.

For reference, provision 162 of the Chicago Manual of Style (1st edition), which is found on page 58 of the book, states the folllowing:

  1. Brackets are used to inclose an explanation or note, to indicate an interpolation in a quotation, to rectify a mistake, to supply an omission, and for a parenthesis within a parenthesis.

The last example the Chicago Manual of Style under this provision illustrates that there is no space between the closing bracket and the final parenthetical mark.

Grote, the great historian of Greece (see his History, I, 204 [second edition]),

It is more compact than including a space, while being less awkward and cumbersome than putting two closing parenthesis right next to each other.

  • The first edition of CMOS goes back to 1906, which seems long in the tooth for anything published today; I couldn't find an example of nested parentheticals in my 14th edition, which is not itself spry. (Not my downvote btw)
    – choster
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 19:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.