Parentheses and Quotations


Parenthesis describes a method of writing more complex sentences, by separating the additional information from the main clause.

The main ways of doing this are using commas, dashes and brackets.

Parenthetic commas (as described above) are used to separate basic additional information.

Radar, which works by sending out bursts of radio energy reflected by surrounding objects, was invented in 1935.

Parenthetic dashes are used for more emphasis and also negate the need for the “which was” in a sentence.

Radar – developed in secret by many countries in the run-up to World War II – proved invaluable to pilots in the Battle of Britain.

Brackets can also be used for parenthesis.

Radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) was developed by many countries in secret in the build-up to World War II.

Quotation Marks

There are three main rules for using quotation, or speech, marks.

Quotation marks go at the start and end of what is being said and include punctuation.

“Are you going on the ski trip?” asked Morgan.

Sometimes speech is broken up by the narrative.

“Ouch,” said Claire, “that hurt!”

You must always start a new paragraph when the speaker changes.

“Hello,” said Kate, “I haven’t seen you for ages.”

“No,” Nick replied, “I’ve been working in Japan for the last four weeks.”

“Wow, that must have been fascinating!”

“Yes it was actually, although I was glad to get home.”

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