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Brackets

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Punctuation is the basic element of English grammar and without it a sentence is not only incomplete but also insensible. There are various marks of punctuation that are used in sentences to give them more meaning and make it easier for the reader to understand. If we omit these punctuation marks from a sentence we will be left hanging. Also, without a punctuation mark a sentence can have various meanings and the reader might assume the meaning the writer is not conveying.

Today I will talk about the less known and easily mistaken punctuation mark called bracket and its usage in English language.

Denotation:

The punctuation mark bracket is represented by two squared parenthesis one after the other and appears as [].

Bracket:

Brackets are less common form of parenthesis and are used for special cases like inside of quotations or quoted materials. Brackets represent interruptions and there appearance signifies that the material inside them is added by someone other than the original author.

Example:

“Samantha took Ana [her sister] along with her to the party.”

Notice that the brackets [] appear inside quoted text that are the direct words of someone. Also note that the text inside the bracket adds detail to the original text and is written or added by someone other than the real author.

Sometimes in formal writings, brackets are applied to secure the integrity of someone’s words or quotation along with the other text used in it.

Example:

"[T]he better angels of our nature" gave a powerful ending to Lincoln's first inaugural address.

In the above example, Lincoln’s famous sentence actually came mid-sentence and  was not originally capitalized but the brackets were used to keep the integrity of the text and make the actual sentence grammatically correct.

 

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