What is Parenthesis?

Parenthesis is a punctuation tool used to provide additional information within a sentence. Parenthesis can be either round brackets, square brackets, or sometimes even braces.

Along with being used to set off comments and explanations in the middle of the sentence, parenthesis can also be used to replace some words in order to shorten the length of the sentence.

Additionally, parenthesis can be very useful when it comes to defining words for readers who are unfamiliar with certain terms.

Parenthesis offers writers a way to convey extra information without interfering with their original sentence structure.

Parenthesis Rules

Learning these four critical rules when using Parenthesis will help communication become clearer and easier. With these four rules firmly entrenched in one’s grammar skillset, any English speaker can properly construct sentences with ease!

IndicationFirstly, an apostrophe is generally used to indicate possession or omissions of letters/words.
PlacementSecondly, commas should be placed where you would naturally pause while reading a sentence aloud.
UsageThirdly, colons should be used to introduce a list or explain a sentence after it has begun.
ClausesLastly, semicolons are used to join two independent clauses that are closely related.
Parenthesis Rules and Explanations Table
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Parenthesis Examples

Parentheses sometimes referred to as curved brackets or round brackets, have a multitude of uses in the English language. These punctuation marks provide additional information inside a sentence or phrase, set off aside from the main content of a sentence, or indicate a glossary or definition. Parenthetical examples can come in the form of clarification and further explanation with phrases such as:

  • “For example”
  • “E.g.” (short for exempli gratia.)
  • “Play Ball”

Parentheses can also be used to denote that something is optional such as setting off part of a mathematical equation or marking alternative word choices the author is offering.

Parentheses act like tiny pauses within sentences to make sure readers get all the information being offered before moving on in their reading experience.

Parenthesis Exercises with Answers

Insert parathesis where they belong!


  • He finally arrived late at the meeting.
  • I ate two sandwiches one with cheese, one without.
  • We must act now or else it will be too late.
  • He is an old professor he has taught here for twenty years.
  • My favourite colour is blue but I’m fond of green too.


  • He finally arrived (late) at the meeting.
  • I ate two sandwiches (one with cheese, one without).
  • We must act now (or else it will be too late).
  • He is an old professor (he has taught here for twenty years).
  • My favourite colour is blue (but I’m fond of green too).

Parenthesis List

Explaining“The team (my daughter is part of) won first place.”
Setting off details“Arthur Daley’s memoirs (published in 1999) sparked interest.”
Forming thoughts“I finally understood why math was so important (it helps you see things differently) when I entered college.”
Parenthesis List Table
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Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

ESL students and English language learners have the difficult task of mastering a brand new language, and it can seem daunting.

One helpful tip for these students is to always make sure to use parenthesis correctly, as doing so will ensure that a sentence stays clear and coherent.

Parenthesis can often be confusing for those who are new to the English language, but breaking them down into their pieces and understanding how each part contributes to a sentence overall can go a long way in helping to comprehend them better.

Additionally, when it comes to memorizing parenthesis rules and structures, practice makes perfect; take some time every day or week consistently review the material until eventually, parenthesis won’t feel so difficult anymore!

Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand to use the dash and semicolon.

Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

Learning a new language can be difficult and English can be quite tricky. Many students who are learning English make similar mistakes, especially with grammar. One common error is incorrectly using parenthesis, which can add confusion to the intended meaning of a sentence.

Parenthesis should only be used if there is additional information that does not affect the main point of the sentiment. To help understand when to use parenthesis correctly, it will help to read more examples using parenthesis in different contexts.

Practising with writing sentences and using parenthesis correctly will also build confidence and help to avoid making this common mistake.

Common Mistakes:

1. Incorrect Tense

Why it Happens

Not having a firm grasp on correct punctuation marks can confuse your statements. This can cause you to use the wrong punctuation marks and misconstrue your message.

Correct Use

When speaking English, you would use punctuation marks that reflect the subject in question. Keep context in mind when selecting your punctuation marks.

2. Lack of punctuation marks

Why it Happens

The easiest mistake is leaving out punctuation marks when needed. Failing to use these in phrases can lead others to misinterpret what you are trying to express.

Correct Use

Punctuation marks join words together – for example, ‘heavy-handed’ or ‘ever-sure’.

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3. Inconsistency

Why it Happens

People forget how they described something before and change the context in a contradictory manner. This confuses the reader.

Correct Use

Be sure that your punctuation marks remain consistent throughout your writing. There should be no sudden shifts.

4. Incorrect Usage

Why it Happens

You don’t know which punctuation marks to use, so you use too many and it confuses the statement.

Correct Use

Using too many punctuation marks can make your writing sound monotonous and can also lead to viewers losing interest. Therefore it is important to focus on expressing yourself clearly and effectively with them.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:

  • Parenthesis can be a tricky concept for many writers. To avoid common mistakes, remember to use them sparingly and keep the placement clear.
  • Parentheses are meant to provide clarity and add detail to your writing; if they are used too often, they can actually drag down the quality of your work.
  • When using parenthesis, try to express the information within each one as succinctly as possible without losing any important detail.
  • Additionally, always double-check afterward that it is in the right place with respect to other sentence elements like commas or full stops.
  • Give yourself time and make sure to proofread: these two steps will give you the best chance of avoiding any missteps in parenthesis usage.
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Learning Parenthesis Use Strategies and Best Practices

Parenthesis are a fantastic addition to any writing; they can add humour, clarity, or even emphasis to an idea. Developing effective strategies and best practices for utilizing them can be both a challenge and an accomplishment.

To maximize the potential of parenthetical statements, writers must consider context and purpose instead of solely relying on the use of commas within them.

Knowing when to omit what has been written within parentheses and how to apply their usage appropriately can help transform amateur writing and make it more professional.

Parenthesis provide a great method to offer more information related to main points while also preventing excessive lengthiness of ideas; with this in mind, learning effective strategies and best practices is essential. Keep reading for more useful tips:

Tip 1: Study a List

Why it helps

Learning the various punctuation marks and using them properly in speaking and writing is easier than it seems with daily practice. A list can simplify this process and make it seem less daunting.

Daily Life Example

The best way to learn to use punctuation marks correctly is to study a list of words and their usage, and then practice writing sentences with them.

Tip 2: Practice Reading

Why it helps

Exposing yourself to punctuation marks hidden between other words can help you identify them faster and with more accuracy.

Daily Life Example

To ensure that you understand how frequently a type of punctuation mark should be used it’s important to practice reading with them as well, so the meanings become clear. So keep a book of your choice on hand and highlight every punctuation mark you come across.

Tip 3: Everyday Conversations

Why it helps

By applying the punctuation marks exercise to everyday written conversations, you’ll find these words easy to remember and use in the near future.

Daily Life Example

Take your time when speaking to people. Take note of the grammar they use, and try and repeat them back in different contexts. You can also do this from the comfort of your home by recording yourself or using an AI assistant.

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Parenthesis Frequently Asked Questions

Parentheses are a common way to give additional information in a sentence, but they can be easily misused. Here are a few tips to avoid making mistakes when using parentheses:

– Make sure the information in the parentheses is important, but not essential to the understanding of the sentence. If the information can be left out and the sentence still makes sense, then it’s probably okay to use parentheses.
– Don’t overuse parentheses. If every other sentence has information in parentheses, it starts to look like you’re trying to hide something.
– Parenthetical statements should be as concise as possible. If you find yourself writing a long sentence inside parentheses, it’s probably better to break it up into two separate sentences.
– Be careful with punctuation. Parentheses always go outside of any other punctuation marks, unless they contain a full sentence themselves.

Parenthesis are used as an aside within a sentence, to provide extra information. Parentheses appear in pairs – as one cannot be alone – and are usually used when you want to create a slight pause before continuing on after providing the additional details.

An example of parenthesis is: “we took a long road trip (over 1,200 miles!).” Here, the parenthesis indicates details that bring the sentence full circle but can be taken out without changing the meaning of the original sentence.

Parenthesis helps further clarify details that may otherwise alter or confuse the narrative or sentiment of a sentence.

Parentheses are an invaluable tool when it comes to writing, as they can be used to separate extra information or a related side note. As writers, we can express our ideas in a concise and organized way while still adding in important extra details using parenthesis.

Parenthesis is also incredibly helpful when it comes to clarifying jokes and sarcastic remarks – without them, our meaning could easily be lost! It’s also common to see a price in Parenthesis. The term “parenthesis” even has roots of its own; coming from the greek for “to put in beside.” Just like their definition, parenthesis will play an omnipresent role by the side of your writing – bolstering any idea with additional contextual detail. 

Parentheses are symbols typically used in writing for information or explanations that are additional to the main point, opinion, or idea. It is made of a left parenthesis and a closing parenthesis. 

Parenthesis symbols have a variety of applications and can be seen in everyday discourse, media reports, and academic writing. They may be used to add clarity to complex sentences or to set apart a comment that interrupts the continuity of the text as the reader pauses or changes direction in thought.

Parentheses act as visual cues on paper and also help create meaning by highlighting important ideas. Understanding how they function effectively is essential when constructing strong writing arguments and compelling narratives.

Parentheses – sometimes referred to as brackets, parenthetical expressions, a pair of parentheses, or curved marks, are a way for writers to indicate added or supplemental information in a sentence.

Parentheses usually occur around single words, phrases, or sentences that do not fit the overall flow of a paragraph but still provide valuable context and clarification.

Often when using parentheses the writer is adding their own opinion or comment and this additional content can be left out if desired without ruining the sentence as a whole. Parentheses artifacts can also pop up while quoting someone else’s dialogue or written work.

Writers first decide if this action serves their goal of better understanding and then include parenthesis where appropriate and necessary.

There is a wealth of grammar resources to bolster your perfect grammar. This includes proper nouns, English nouns, countable nouns Mark Dimunation, and other grammatical terms.

Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!

What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! Lilly’s a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

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