Need Help?

Get in touch with us

bannerAd

Dashes and Parentheses

Aug 30, 2022
link

Read the following sentences: 

  1. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)was established in 1958. 
  1. Thomas was extremely talented- the most brilliant of students I have ever met. 

In the above sentences, there is an extra layer of information/detailing about the subject that is being talked about. But here, the punctuation mark used in both the sentences is not a comma

In sentence 1, we could have easily done away with the expansion of the acronym NASA. The addition of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration can be seen as a passing comment because its absence wouldn’t have made much difference to the sentence. The brackets in the sentence are called parentheses

In sentence 2, the main sentence is slightly interrupted so that it makes way for the phrase that follows the punctuation mark used. Here, the additional phrase serves to grab the attention of the reader to the subject Thomas. The punctuation mark used in the sentence is called a dash

Parentheses: 

Parentheses are a pair of signs () that can be used to separate a phrase or a clause that does not grammatically belong to the main part of a sentence. They are used to set off information within a sentence and are capable of enclosing a single word, a phrase, or even an entire sentence. The words inside the parentheses usually provide additional information about something else in the sentence. 

Examples: 

  • Some of the committee members (Mr. Swann and Mr. Smith, for example) raised objection to the proposal. 
  • The lunch that I had (the delicious, healthy salad) cost me $27. 
  • Max Dillon (the best written character in The Amazing Spiderman 2) gets an underwhelming conclusion in Spiderman: No Way Home

According to many modern grammarians, the usage of parenthesis has started to dwindle. In fact, the Associated Press style guide would prefer that we stop using parentheses altogether, as it is jarring to the reader. 

parallel

Dash: 

A dash is a small horizontal line that appears in the center of a line of text. It is frequently used to denote an abrupt stop or a change of thought. If the sentence that precedes the interruption is to be continued, a pair of dashes should be used. 

Examples: 

  • Had we prepared well- but let’s focus on the present. 
  • I met his parents- both of them- who are very disappointed with his exam results. 
  • Joshua drove the car faster- he wanted to reach the hospital as soon as possible. 

PS: Dashes are generally used in casual texts and are more common in fiction writing. They are not used very frequently in formal writing. 

parallel

Comments:

Related topics

Diary Writing

A diary writing is a type of writing in which a person records an account of their day. We keep track of important and significant days, as well as our personal feelings. As a result, it is a personal document. Diary writing can be based on anything. It can be based on an experience, a […]

Read More >>

Proper and Common Nouns

They name any person, place, thing, or an idea. Common nouns are capitalized only when they come at the beginning of a sentence. Otherwise they are not capitalized.  Common Nouns  A quick recap   Examples of common nouns  People: include men, women, children, police officers, criminals, butchers, bakers, neighbours, friends, and foes as well as judges, […]

Read More >>

Contractions With Not

What is a contraction?  A contraction is one word made up of two words.   We do this to make things short and trim.   The first word usually stays the same.  I will à I’ll (the first word remained the same)   And in some cases, both the first word and the second word lose letters.   Shall […]

Read More >>

Identify Prepositions

A word that shows the connection between a thing or a pronoun and different words in a sentence is called a preposition.  They occur before a noun or a pronoun.  For example: There is a kitten in the basket.  Some common prepositions in English are in, on, at, up, down, under, over, above, below, across, […]

Read More >>

Other topics