Parenthesis: ( )

A parenthesis is one of a pair of curved marks ( ), which are used in a sentence to enclose a word,  phrase, sentence, number, etc  as an explanation, extra information, or a remark. The content within the parentheses is nonessential and if removed will not affect the meaning of the sentence, as the sentence by itself is grammatically complete. The parentheses can also be in the forms of brackets, dashes, or commas.

Parentheses setting off additional information in a sentence

Examples:

  • The Mariana Trench (or Marianas Trench) is the deepest part of the world's oceans, and is located in the western Pacific Ocean.
  • A mythical sea creature with the upper body of a woman and a fish’s tail instead of legs (see picture next page), depicted as beautiful with long flowing golden hair.
  • My dog – the one with brown patches – bit the postman this morning.
  • Police believe Tom Tommy, a serial child killer, has struck again.

 

Parentheses enclosing numbers or letters in a sentence

Examples:

  • These are the things I want you to get for me on your way back: (1) Two cartons of milk; (2) a box of eggs; (3) the cheapest cuts of meat; and (4) two bottles of the non-alcoholic drink.

    

Bracket
A bracket is one of a pair of marks { }, [ ] or < > which are used to enclose a word, phrase or figures to show what is enclosed is separate from the rest of the sentence. 
 

Examples:

  • Today, I took Brave (my pet dog) for a walk and it started to rain.
  • Her father promises to give her a sum of money
  • She would receive the money (at least $500) as a gift if she passes her driving test.
  • The Three Stooges [Larry, Moe and Curly] made a triumphant return to the big screen in 2012.