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Know Your Punctuation: Brackets for Parenthesis

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

'Know Your Punctuation: Brackets for Parenthesis' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Grammar and Vocabulary

Curriculum subtopic:   Extend and Apply Grammatical Knowledge

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.

 

The extra information can be put inside commas, dashes or brackets.

My sister, who is called Emily, loves horses.

My sister - who is called Emily - loves horses.

My sister (who is called Emily) loves horses.

 

Brackets are used when the writer wants the information to stand out more than it would if commas were used. Dashes are generally used in informal writing such as emails.

 

The plural of parenthesis is parentheses, and the word is sometimes used to refer to the brackets themselves as well as to the information inside them.

 

The sentence should always make sense without the parenthesis, whether commas, dashes or brackets are used.

Is the sentence below using brackets correctly to include the parenthesis?

 

My dog (who was covered in mud) rolled himself clean on the living room carpet.

Correct

Incorrect

Which of the sentences below is correctly punctuating the parenthesis?

Katie - my best friend - is moving to Glasgow next month.

Katie (my best friend) is moving to Glasgow next month.

Katie: my best friend - is moving to Glasgow next month.

Do you think the sentence below is using brackets correctly to include the parenthesis?

 

My mum who is very small (can't see over the steering wheel) in our new car.

Yes

No

Where would you put the brackets in the sentence below?

 

My great grandad who is nearly one hundred years old still lives in his own home.

My great grandad

who is nearly one hundred years old

still lives

in his own home

The parenthesis (who was very nervous) has been inserted into the following sentences.  Think carefully about where the parenthesis should go.  Which one is correct?

 

Jayden climbed the steps onto the stage and began to sing.

Jayden climbed the steps (who was very nervous) onto the stage and began to sing.

Jayden climbed (who was very nervous) the steps onto the stage and began to sing.

Jayden (who was very nervous) climbed the steps onto the stage and began to sing.

Jayden climbed the steps onto the stage (who was very nervous) and began to sing.

Claire has written the parenthesis (more frightened than she had ever been in her life) in the following sentence...

 

Jasmine (more frightened than she had ever been in her life) hid behind the door.

 

Sinead thinks that Claire is incorrect and it should be written as...

 

Jasmine hid behind the door (more frightened than she had ever been in her life). 

 

Who is correct?

Claire

Sinead

Which of the following parenthesis would make sense inserted into the sentence below?

 

Jonny and Matty are coming home from university tomorrow.

(Mr Walker's twin sons)

(argued)

(playing football)

(by train)

Brackets can also be used to emphasise a point or show the writer's thoughts.

 

My sister Elise has just failed her driving test (again).

 

The sentence would make sense without the brackets, but adding brackets emphasises the fact that Elise has failed her test at least once before. It is an informal use of parenthesis.

 

Where would you add brackets to the following sentence to emphasise the fact that the writer's aunt usually forgets his birthday?

 

My aunt Jemima remembered my birthday this year for once.

My aunt Jemima remembered my birthday this year for once.

What words would you put in brackets to emphasise the fact that the writer is not very confident about passing her exam?

 

I will pass my piano exam this time I hope.

I will pass my piano exam this time I hope.

Which words would you put in brackets in the following sentence to emphasise the fact that the writer is very relieved that her dog came home?

Lily finally came home last night thank goodness after I had almost given up hope.
  • Question 1

Is the sentence below using brackets correctly to include the parenthesis?

 

My dog (who was covered in mud) rolled himself clean on the living room carpet.

CORRECT ANSWER
Correct
EDDIE SAYS
This was correct! If you look at the introduction again, we can use brackets, commas or dashes for that extra bit of information in a sentence - the parenthesis.
  • Question 2

Which of the sentences below is correctly punctuating the parenthesis?

CORRECT ANSWER
Katie - my best friend - is moving to Glasgow next month.
Katie (my best friend) is moving to Glasgow next month.
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? Did you remember you can use brackets, commas or dashes to include the parenthesis in the sentence? There were two answers that were correct above. The one that was wrong was the third option that included a semi colon.
  • Question 3

Do you think the sentence below is using brackets correctly to include the parenthesis?

 

My mum who is very small (can't see over the steering wheel) in our new car.

CORRECT ANSWER
No
EDDIE SAYS
Could you see that this was wrong? The part that should be in brackets (the aside to the reader) is 'who is very small' that's added extra, knowing that the mum cannot see over the wheel of the car is key in this sentence!
  • Question 4

Where would you put the brackets in the sentence below?

 

My great grandad who is nearly one hundred years old still lives in his own home.

CORRECT ANSWER
who is nearly one hundred years old
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get it right? Think about the part of the sentence that is an added extra. You can imagine someone saying this sentence and saying the parenthesis as a throw-away comment in the sentence. If you say this out loud you may say it in a different tone. Give it a go!
  • Question 5

The parenthesis (who was very nervous) has been inserted into the following sentences.  Think carefully about where the parenthesis should go.  Which one is correct?

 

Jayden climbed the steps onto the stage and began to sing.

CORRECT ANSWER
Jayden (who was very nervous) climbed the steps onto the stage and began to sing.
EDDIE SAYS
Is this getting easier? We're working out where to put the parenthesis or the extra information in the sentence. What's important to remember is who the information is about. In this case, it is clearly about Jayden, so we must put it directly after his name so that this makes sense. How did you get on?
  • Question 6

Claire has written the parenthesis (more frightened than she had ever been in her life) in the following sentence...

 

Jasmine (more frightened than she had ever been in her life) hid behind the door.

 

Sinead thinks that Claire is incorrect and it should be written as...

 

Jasmine hid behind the door (more frightened than she had ever been in her life). 

 

Who is correct?

CORRECT ANSWER
Claire
EDDIE SAYS
This was a bit of a tricky one! The extra information could also be added to the beginning or end of the sentence without brackets, but then it would not be a parenthesis. So in this case, Claire is correct.
  • Question 7

Which of the following parenthesis would make sense inserted into the sentence below?

 

Jonny and Matty are coming home from university tomorrow.

CORRECT ANSWER
(Mr Walker's twin sons)
(by train)
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this right? There were two correct answers here. Jonny and Matty (Mr Walker's twin sons) are coming home from university tomorrow. or Jonny and Matty are coming home from university (by train) tomorrow. The other two options do not make sense as additional information in the sentence.
  • Question 8

Brackets can also be used to emphasise a point or show the writer's thoughts.

 

My sister Elise has just failed her driving test (again).

 

The sentence would make sense without the brackets, but adding brackets emphasises the fact that Elise has failed her test at least once before. It is an informal use of parenthesis.

 

Where would you add brackets to the following sentence to emphasise the fact that the writer's aunt usually forgets his birthday?

 

My aunt Jemima remembered my birthday this year for once.

CORRECT ANSWER
My aunt Jemima remembered my birthday this year for once.
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? You can just imagine someone saying this sentence, can't you!
  • Question 9

What words would you put in brackets to emphasise the fact that the writer is not very confident about passing her exam?

 

I will pass my piano exam this time I hope.

CORRECT ANSWER
I will pass my piano exam this time I hope.
EDDIE SAYS
Are you getting the hang of this now? This question was similar to the last. We get a sense of how the writer is feeling here, but the sentence would make sense if we took away the (I hope). Can you think of a sentence that you often say where you could use parenthesis?
  • Question 10

Which words would you put in brackets in the following sentence to emphasise the fact that the writer is very relieved that her dog came home?

CORRECT ANSWER
Lily finally came home last night thank goodness after I had almost given up hope.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this last one right? Imagine someone telling you this, they would say 'thank goodness' in a different tone to you in a conversation. It tells us about the writer's feelings and adds a bit more interest to the sentence but is not essential for our understanding of the situation. Well done for completing another activity! Why not test out your understanding by trying another activity! Practice makes perfect!
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