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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:   Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:   Parenthesis Awareness

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.

Which of the sentence below uses commas correctly to punctuate the sentence?

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

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

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

Which of the answers uses 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.

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

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

Is the sentence below punctuated correctly?

 

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

 

Yes

No

Is the sentence below punctuated correctly?

 

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

Correct

Incorrect

Callum has used dashes to punctuate the sentence below, he is not sure which word he should write the second dash after.  Can you help him?

 

Jodie is - I believe the best mathematician in the class.

I

believe

best

Pamela has written the sentence below.  Has she punctuated it correctly?

 

Jake; despite being very nervous; played the game of his life.

Yes

No

The sentences below use dashes to include the parenthesis 'although I don't believe him'.  Which one does this correctly?

Peter - although I don't believe him - claims to be able to read people's minds.

Although I don't believe him - Peter claims to be able to read people's minds

Peter claims to be able to read people's minds - although I don't believe him.

Name a punctuation mark that could be used to show parenthesis?

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

Which of the sentence below uses commas correctly to punctuate the sentence?

CORRECT ANSWER
My dad, who is normally a very good driver, crashed his car yesterday.
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do here? Commas are used to include extra information to the reader. The information within the commas does not make sense on its 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 gives the reader extra information without changing the meaning of the sentence. If we take it out, the sentence will still make sense.
  • Question 2

Which of the answers uses brackets to punctuate the extra information in this sentence?

 

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

Is the sentence below punctuated correctly?

 

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

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Yes
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Did you remember you can use commas, brackets or dashes to highlight extra information? 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

Is the sentence below punctuated correctly?

 

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

CORRECT ANSWER
Incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
This was incorrect! 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

Callum has used dashes to punctuate the sentence below, he is not sure which word he should write the second dash after.  Can you help him?

 

Jodie is - I believe the best mathematician in the class.

CORRECT ANSWER
believe
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? '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've got this!
  • Question 6

Pamela has written the sentence below.  Has she punctuated it correctly?

 

Jake; despite being very nervous; played the game of his life.

CORRECT ANSWER
No
EDDIE SAYS
Pamela has the punctuation in the correct place, but she's used the wrong punctuation, whoops! We can only use commas, brackets or dashes for parentheses.
  • Question 7

The sentences below use dashes to include the parenthesis 'although I don't believe him'.  Which one does this correctly?

CORRECT ANSWER
Peter - although I don't believe him - claims to be able to read people's minds.
EDDIE SAYS
Remember parenthesis has to be inserted into the sentence. Read the sentence through and think about where it would most make sense.
  • Question 8

Name a punctuation mark that could be used to show parenthesis?

CORRECT ANSWER
Comma
Commas
Bracket
Brackets
Dash
Dashes
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember this? There are three types of punctuation we could use - dashes, commas and brackets.
  • 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. That's another activity completed! Let's keep going!
---- OR ----

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