Pearson Adult Learning Centre HomePearson Adult Learning Centre: Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde



Making Use of Parentheses

The parenthesis (plural is parentheses) can be used in a number of situations in your writing. Perhaps the most interesting is in modifying a word or phrase used in a sentence (or making a form of editorial comment).

Here are two examples:

The teacher (one hopes) will give the students time to finish their assignments.

It turns out he had (for the first time?) told the truth about his addiction.

Two other ways to use the parenthesis:

To spell out an abbreviation.

The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries agreed to an emergency meeting.


The Italians love to say ciao (both hello and goodbye) to their friends.

(May 29, 2011)

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