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Use Brackets and Dashes for Parenthesis

In this worksheet, students practise using brackets and dashes to add parentheses to sentences.

'Use Brackets and Dashes for Parenthesis' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  English

Curriculum subtopic:  Punctuation: Commas, Hyphens, Parentheses & Dashes

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A parenthesis is a word or a phrase that is inserted into a sentence to add information or explain something.

 

We generally put extra information inside commas.

 My sister, who is called Emily, loves horses.

 

However, if we want the extra information to stand out more, then dashes or brackets can be used.

My sister - who is called Emily - loves horses.

My sister (who is called Emily) loves horses.

 

Sometimes people use the word parenthesis to refer to the brackets themselves, but strictly speaking the parenthesis is the information, not the punctuation.

 

The sentence should always make sense without the parenthesis, whether commas, dashes or brackets are used. Dashes are generally more informal, and are often used in emails or other casual writing.

 

The plural of parenthesis is parentheses.

Use commas to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

My dad who is normally a very good driver crashed his car yesterday.

Use brackets to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

My Aunt Jemima who is nearly one hundred years old is coming to visit us soon.

Use dashes to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

Katie more tired than she had ever been in her life struggled to stay awake.

Use commas to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

Jonny and Matty his oldest children are coming home from university tomorrow.

Use dashes to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

Jodie is I believe the best mathematician in the class.

Use commas to insert the parenthesis 'despite being very nervous' into the sentence below. 

 

Jake played the game of his life

Use dashes to insert the parenthesis 'although I don't believe him' into the sentence below.

 

Peter claims to be able to read people's minds.

Use brackets to insert the parenthesis 'claimed to be the largest city in the world' into the sentence below.

 

Beijing is the capital of China.

Tick the type of punctuation that would be better if you wanted to emphasise the extra information in a sentence.

commas

brackets

Tick the type of punctuation that would be better if you were writing a formal letter and you wanted to add information to a sentence.

brackets

dashes

  • Question 1

Use commas to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

My dad who is normally a very good driver crashed his car yesterday.

CORRECT ANSWER
My dad, who is normally a very good driver, crashed his car yesterday.
EDDIE SAYS
Great job! Commas are used to include extra information to the reader. The information within the commas does not make sense on it\'s own and relies on the rest of the sentence to make sense. \'Who is normally a very good driver.\' Is marked with commas as it give the reader extra information without changing the meaning of the sentence. If we take it out, the sentence will still make sense.
  • Question 2

Use brackets to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

My Aunt Jemima who is nearly one hundred years old is coming to visit us soon.

CORRECT ANSWER
My Aunt Jemima (who is nearly one hundred years old) is coming to visit us soon.
EDDIE SAYS
Super effort! We use brackets to highlight extra information that is helpful to the reader. The information should be able to be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning of the original sentence. \'Who is nearly 100 years old\' goes within the brackets. You can take it out the sentence without changing the meaning, \'My Aunt Jemima is coming to visit us soon.\'
  • Question 3

Use dashes to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

Katie more tired than she had ever been in her life struggled to stay awake.

CORRECT ANSWER
Katie - more tired than she had ever been in her life - struggled to stay awake.
EDDIE SAYS
You got this! Read through the sentence and decide what the extra information is. What could be taken out the sentence without changing the meaning? \'More tired than she had ever felt in her life\' can be removed from the sentence. The sentence makes sense with or without the information within the dashes.
  • Question 4

Use commas to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

Jonny and Matty his oldest children are coming home from university tomorrow.

CORRECT ANSWER
Jonny and Matty, his oldest children, are coming home from university tomorrow.
EDDIE SAYS
You need to think about what the main point of the sentence is, then decide what extra information is given to the reader. The sentence could read \'Jonny and Matty are coming home from university tomorrow\' . This still makes sense without \'his oldest children\'. If the information can be removed from the sentence without changing the meaning we use commas to show this.
  • Question 5

Use dashes to punctuate the extra information in this sentence.

 

Jodie is I believe the best mathematician in the class.

CORRECT ANSWER
Jodie is - I believe - the best mathematician in the class.
EDDIE SAYS
\'I believe\' is the person\'s opinion, it is extra information that is not needed for the rest of the sentence to make sense. You got this!
  • Question 6

Use commas to insert the parenthesis 'despite being very nervous' into the sentence below. 

 

Jake played the game of his life

CORRECT ANSWER
Jake, despite being very nervous, played the game of his life.
EDDIE SAYS
Keep up the great effort! The extra information could also be placed at the beginning or end of the sentence, but it is only a parenthesis if is is inserted into the sentence. This means it has to go within the original sentence, not after it.
  • Question 7

Use dashes to insert the parenthesis 'although I don't believe him' into the sentence below.

 

Peter claims to be able to read people's minds.

CORRECT ANSWER
Peter - although I don't believe him - claims to be able to read people's minds.
Peter claims - although I don't believe him - to be able to read people's minds.
EDDIE SAYS
There are two correct options here. Remember parenthesis has to be inserted into the sentence. Read the sentence through and think about where it would most make sense. The parenthesis can be placed either after \'Peter\' or after \'claims\'. Don\'t forget your dashes!
  • Question 8

Use brackets to insert the parenthesis 'claimed to be the largest city in the world' into the sentence below.

 

Beijing is the capital of China.

CORRECT ANSWER
Beijing (claimed to be the largest city in the world) is the capital of China.
EDDIE SAYS
A good trick here is to remember the extra information can normally be inserted after the noun. The noun in the sentence is Beijing. Nearly there!
  • Question 9

Tick the type of punctuation that would be better if you wanted to emphasise the extra information in a sentence.

CORRECT ANSWER
brackets
EDDIE SAYS
Using brackets makes parentheses stand out more than using commas. Keep up the good effort!
  • Question 10

Tick the type of punctuation that would be better if you were writing a formal letter and you wanted to add information to a sentence.

CORRECT ANSWER
brackets
EDDIE SAYS
High five! Brackets would be better as dashes are considered to be an informal way of marking parentheses.
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