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Questions tagged [parentheses]

This tag is concerned with the usage of the glyphs ( and ), known as parentheses (singular parenthesis) in American English and as brackets in British English.

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112 votes
10 answers
19k views

"A/An" preceding a parenthetical statement

When a/an precedes a parenthetical aside (sometimes seen in informal/conversational writing), should the vowel rule depend on the first word in parentheses, or the next word in the "regular" flow of ...
keithjgrant's user avatar
  • 3,424
31 votes
3 answers
36k views

Parentheses vs. double commas vs. dashes to provide additional detail

When do you use commas and when do you use parentheses to provide more detail about something? For example: The suspect, Tom Wilson, is now being charged with murder. The suspect (Tom Wilson) is now ...
Senseful's user avatar
  • 2,249
5 votes
4 answers
9k views

Usage of brackets/parentheses (etc) [closed]

When and how do we use the different kinds of brackets/parentheses — (){}[] — while writing English (not code)?
Siddhartha's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
178k views

In which cases is a comma/period placed inside or outside of parentheses?

Are there cases where a period is placed inside parentheses? In which cases the period (or a comma) should be placed inside the parentheses?
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.3k
14 votes
6 answers
15k views

When a sentence uses a parenthetical plural, should the rest of the sentence treat it as singular or plural?

Consider the following sentence: We assume that the individual(s) possesses some general knowledge of the rules of football. Is "possesses" correct there? Should it be "possess"? Is the rule more ...
Pops's user avatar
  • 5,975
94 votes
7 answers
34k views

Is it acceptable to nest parentheses?

Is it acceptable to nest parentheses (for example, if I (meaning myself) write like this)?
Brad Cupit's user avatar
  • 1,043
16 votes
4 answers
139k views

Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses?

I know that when brackets enclose part of a sentence, the full stop goes outside. I tripped over this morning. I was distracted by a plane (which turned out to be Superman). If it's a full ...
Lunivore's user avatar
  • 6,923
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Changing plurality in parentheses

If a set of parentheses lies between a subject and its verb, and the parentheses contain an substitutive subject whose singularity/plurality disagrees with the original subject, whose singularity/...
Josh1billion's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
12k views

When to choose em dash over parenthesis for parenthetical phrases?

According to Wikipedia: The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or "mutton" (—) often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses ...
PapaCharlie9's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
12k views

Where to put the periods when using a parenthetical sentence?

I have two complete sentences; the second is in parentheses, essentially a comment on the first. Where do I place the periods? I would use this: They played opera. (I covered my ears.) Is this ...
The English Chicken's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
7k views

Where should the apostrophe go on a possessive abbreviation?

When expanding an abbreviation in parentheses, sometimes the thing that was abbreviate was used in a possessive context. Consider the following example: If the Giant Ostrich Bomb's (GOB) fuse is ...
Scribblemacher's user avatar
38 votes
2 answers
30k views

What is the optional plural form of a word that ends in “‑y”?

I guess “optional plural” is the correct term. I’m referring to things like It can be found at the following location(s). Please pick up your ticket(s). But how do I do that to a word that ends in&...
Jeremy Wiggins's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Singular or plural verb after parenthetical material containing a conjunction?

I would tend to say Sara (and all of us) have a lot to think about now. ...but it occurs to me that if I remove the parenthetical it's clearly incorrect. Is it proper to say Sara (and all of us)...
Jeff Fry's user avatar
  • 371
41 votes
1 answer
64k views

How to deal with abbreviations like 'etc.' at the end of parentheses which are closing a sentence?

In Hungarian, when there's a dot both inside and outside parentheses at the end of a sentence, we write it as follows: Sok állatom van (kutya, macska stb.). (Meaning: I've got many animals [dogs, ...
user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
12k views

How to write a parenthetical plural when the noun pluralizes irregularly?

What happens if you have a written phrase like We were looking at the same poster(s). but with a noun that has an irregular plural? E.g. with baby/babies, would this be the correct form? We ...
suszterpatt's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
43k views

Which would you place in parentheses: the expansion or the abbreviation? [closed]

Which would you place in parentheses: the expansion or the abbreviation? I have seen it both ways; which style should be preferred? What do style-manuals say?
Emre's user avatar
  • 558
7 votes
2 answers
19k views

When using complete sentences in parenthetical e.g. or i.e. situations, should the first word be capitalized?

In a bulleted list of very technical sentences, where each bulleted item has one or two parenthetical examples or restatements which are complete sentences, should the first letter of each e.g. or i.e....
A Lion's user avatar
  • 367
32 votes
7 answers
124k views

Number agreement when using “(s)” for optional plural

I have a question about the following construction and which instance is correct. Selecting an appropriate study topic(s). Selecting appropriate study topic(s). When it is both singular ...
cjvalentine's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
995 views

Should enclosing commas be treated as parentheses?

I just read the following in Dan Ariely's book Predictably Irrational, [...] Zoe, and the other kids to whom I offered the same deal, was completely blinded by [...] p. 57 To me it would have ...
Chris Steinbach's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
25k views

Singular or plural verb when pluralisation is used in parentheses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When a sentence uses an optional plural, should the rest of the sentence treat it as singular or plural? Which is correct? Buy an apple from the vendor(s) that are selling ...
Julian H. Lam's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
5k views

How do I manage periods for abbreviations with parentheses, right before a period?

"In the case of medical diagnostics, there is a cost associated with each medical procedure that provides additional information (blood test, x-ray, etc.)." Should that end with "etc.).", "etc)." or "...
Gabe's user avatar
  • 183
27 votes
7 answers
43k views

What is the common name for brackets, braces, and parentheses?

I need to name a variable containing ()[]{}, what is the common name for all of them? Two side questions: parentheses is plural, or singular, or both? is abbreviating it as parens understandable?
maaartinus's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
38k views

How do you make a word like "parent(s)" possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? "Please submit your and your parent(s)' federal tax returns." Is the possessive of "parent(s)'" correctly formatted in ...
Derek's user avatar
  • 61
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

(I'm not sure) how to capitalize this sentence

When a sentence begins with a parenthetical clause (uncommon, I'm sure), how should the following portion be capitalized? My thought is it would be either (In my opinion, at least[,]) the play was ...
yoozer8's user avatar
  • 8,770
1 vote
1 answer
663 views

What is the correct usage of the question mark when using a subsequent parenthesis?

Is this the correct use of the question mark? Should it be at the end outside of the closing bracket? See example below How do we deliver it? (to the learner)
Elaine's user avatar
  • 11
61 votes
15 answers
8k views

If an insertion in parentheses ends with a smiley, how do I distinguish between the two?

I know smileys are not part of written language (yet), and any questions about them are irrelevant to linguistics and are kind of not serious. So take my question with a smiley then. It bugs me ...
mojuba's user avatar
  • 1,097
25 votes
3 answers
65k views

Is there a grammatical rule for using "read" between parentheses? [closed]

As an example: I am bored (read: lazy). I wish to know if English Grammar has a formal construct for this usage.
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
116k views

(Parentheses (inside parentheses)) [duplicate]

As you saw in the title, parentheses inside parentheses don't look too good. But, gramatically speaking, is it correct to do this? For example: Go to this site (you should probably check it out, it'...
naiveai's user avatar
  • 143
6 votes
4 answers
30k views

How to read parentheses equation [closed]

I have problems with reading mathematical equations in which there are parentheses; could anybody help me? For example: (x−a) (x+b) = 5 (x−a) + 2 (a+10) = z 2 + (10−a) d = ...
Racuch's user avatar
  • 69
5 votes
4 answers
6k views

Parentheses around more than one paragraph

Does English allow one to put parentheses around more than one paragraph? Example: Paragraph 1. (Paragraph 2. Paragraph 3.) Paragraph 4. (Of course, this is just a simple example. ...
meh's user avatar
  • 279
3 votes
4 answers
19k views

How do I deal with quotation marks, parenthesis and period all at the end of a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does the period go when using parentheses? I have never seen this particular issue addressed; I looked around and couldn't see anything that specifically addresses this. ...
Felix's user avatar
  • 77
3 votes
1 answer
5k views

Multiple sentences inside parenthesis

I have read the few questions about punctuations in parenthesis, but I think none of them answers my question. I've looked at: Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses? In ...
ananda's user avatar
  • 61
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

lists set off by parentheses

Do parenthetical lists need "e.g." preceding the list, such as: "I am building a model of the house with key attributes (height, style, color) considered for comparison with other development areas."
user53372's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
6k views

Is it "room(s)" or "room/s" when referring to the possibility of more than one of something? [Parenthetical plurals]

When offering the possibility that there could be more than one of something, how should that be written? Eg. You will be responsible for the cost of your room(s). Or should it be "room/s"?
ZG Cayenne's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Compound adjective that contains an acronym + parentheses?

When using a compound adjective that contains an acronym, where do you place the hyphen and parentheses? I am describing a gene which contains cAMP response element (CRE). So is it: cAMP response ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
3 answers
54k views

Double parentheses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it acceptable to nest parentheses? Are you allowed to have parentheses within parentheses in English? Something like "(I did that because I wanted to (and the want came ...
Dhaivat Pandya's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
5k views

Lowercase Letter in Brackets [duplicate]

Please look at the following sentence with the bracketed lowercase letter. “Doctor Rogers' thesis states that ‘[p]atients often display psychosomatic symptoms.’ ” Is the author decapitalizing the ...
whippoorwill's user avatar
  • 2,401
17 votes
4 answers
54k views

What does an exclamation mark inside parentheses "(!)" mean?

What does an exclamation mark inside parentheses "(!)" mean? I saw this in a book review I was reading and I didn't understand what the use of it was. Can someone help me?
katie's user avatar
  • 647
16 votes
3 answers
104k views

Use of "e.g." — are parentheses necessary?

Is it appropriate to use "e.g." in a sentence without using parentheses? This administrative access control should provide visibility into access via multiple vectors (e.g. group access rights ...
TatiLati's user avatar
  • 576
8 votes
2 answers
43k views

Exclamation mark before closing parenthesis [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does the question mark go — inside or outside the parentheses? Consider this: Even a fool gets to be young once (but not twice!). Do you understand? The parentheses ...
Enchilada's user avatar
  • 705
8 votes
3 answers
11k views

What are the correct ways to express parenthetical comments?

I've seen parenthetical comments that are inserted mid-sentence (like this) and I've also seen parenthetical comments that are inserted after the terminal punctuation symbol of a sentence. (Like this.)...
BoltClock's user avatar
  • 1,101
6 votes
4 answers
28k views

Using i.e. in parentheses

When a writer uses parentheses to define a phrase or clarify a word in a sentence, is it appropriate also to use i.e. in the parentheses? That use seems redundant to me.
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
17k views

Use of two sets of parentheses, side by side

I have a sentence that uses two sets of parentheses, side by side: Thank you for your letter of October 27, 2015 in which you outlined questions regarding the development of the new Pima Animal ...
Lois B's user avatar
  • 61
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Entire sentence in parentheses

I am formatting a new book for my company and ran into a problem. There is a sentence that reads: Before beginning, watch Part I in the DVD series, God & the History of Art. (If available as ...
honyovk's user avatar
  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do parenthetical statements change subject-verb agreement? [duplicate]

When I need to focus on a specific instance of a subject, but want to include a clarifying remark making it plural, I may set off that secondary statement like this: The state of Florida (and 27 ...
Robert Cartaino's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Singular or plural after optional parentheses [duplicate]

Which one is the correct one? I had no idea San Diego (and its surrounding areas) is that crowded. or I had no idea San Diego (and its surrounding areas) are that crowded. And would the ...
Roronoa Zoro's user avatar
  • 1,135
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Continuing a sentence in a parenthesis and then starting a new one inside the same

Take a look at this meaning: By the way, I marked position 2854 (in the code. It's the slash). Is is correct to start a new sentence within a parenthesis like this? Or another, worse, example: ...
Shathur's user avatar
  • 643
2 votes
1 answer
14k views

Brackets within brackets

I'm writing an academic paper and have added some information within a set of brackets. I have then added a citation to this piece of information, which has now left me with this sentence: A total ...
Sophie Burgess's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Parenthesis and apostrophes

If there is a noun, then parenthesis or a comma, where should a 's go? For example: The dog (who was very big)'s ears perked up. or The dog's (who was very big) ears perked up. or The dog's,...
Coder-256's user avatar
  • 138
1 vote
2 answers
93 views

Should I pluralize based on an item in parentheses [duplicate]

Which of the following two sentences is correct: Jon (and Michael) is smart. Jon (and Michael) are smart. This example is clearly contrived but my question is whether the sentence should be ...
Benjy Kessler's user avatar