Tag Archives: punctuation mark

#GrammarTrivia: Brackets

Hello, fellas! How’s your day? Today we will talk about “brackets.” Here we go!

Brackets are symbols mainly used as separator for additional information to a sentence or a main content. If we remove the brackets, the sentence would still make good sense. There are two main types of brackets, they are round () and square [].

British English (BrE) and American English (AmE) define them differently.

  • (  ), BrE: round brackets or brackets, AmE: parentheses
  • [  ], BrE: square brackets, AmE: brackets

Round brackets or parentheses are used to:

  1. add extra information to a sentence.
    • Example:
      • “Lake Toba (Indonesia: Danau Toba) is the largest volcanic lake in Sumatera as well as the world.”
  2. indicate plural or singular nouns.
    •  Example:
      • “My new shelf need book(s).”
  3. add a personal comment.
    • Example:
      • “Kuta Beach is the most beautiful beach in Bali (I prefer Sanur Beach  to Kuta Beach).
  4.  define abbreviations.
    • Example:
      • “The link above will take you to a PDF (Portable Document Format) version.”

Square brackets are used to

  1. modify another person’s words, especially when we want to make it clear that the modification has been made by us, not by the original writer.
    • Example:
      • The witness said: “He [the policeman] hit me.”
  2. add information.
    • Example:
      • “The two teams in the finals of the first FIFA Football World Cup were both from South America [Uruguay and Argentina].”
  3. add missing words.
    • Example:
      • “It is [a] good question.”
  4. modify a direct quotation.
    • Example:
      • He “love[s] driving.” (The original words were “I love driving.”)

That’s all for today, fellas! I hope it’ll be useful for you. Good night!
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U. Saturday, March 10, 2018.



#EngKnowledge: Hyphens (-) and Compound Adjectives

Good evening, fellas! For you in Indonesia, how was your holiday? It’s cool to have a holiday in the middle of the week, right! I had a restaurant-hopping holiday! Well, I met with some of my good-hearted friends and it was fun! What did you do today?

Did you notice how I used a hyphen between restaurant and hopping also between good and hearted? Let’s talk about hyphens. Hyphens are used to link words and parts of words. It’s this one: (-) and not this one (–) or even this one (—). The length is the different. A hyphen (-) is shorter than En Dash (–) or Em Dash (—). There are several uses of hyphens, but let’s focus on how to use hyphens with compound adjectives.

Compound adjectives are two or more words that together make an adjective. Compound adjectives are made up of a noun + an adjective, a noun + a participle, or an adjective + a participle. When they come directly before a noun, they’re known as compound modifiers and usually have a hyphen, like “a restaurant-hopping day.”

Here are a few more examples:
1. A marriage is a long-term commitment.
2. You need to wear a fire-proof vest to go inside the factory.

If the adjectives come after the noun, then they don’t need a hyphen. For example: The vest is fire proof.

Sometimes, the placement of a hyphen changes the meaning of your sentence. Let’s say you want a “hot-water bottle.” With a hyphen between “hot” and “water” you clearly want a water bottle for holding hot water because “hot” and “water” are joined by a hyphen. Without the hyphen between “hot” and “water, you might want a water bottle that is hot. See how the presence or absence of a hyphen could change the meaning?

Compiled for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 15 October, 2015.