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Parentheses  (BrE: Brackets)

Parentheses (singular: parenthesis) and brackets (BrE: square brackets) are used to separate words or characters from the main text. Brackets/square brackets [ ]; braces { }; and slashes/slash brackets/diagonal brackets serve a similar function. See each term for its specific usage.

a.     Use parentheses, like commas and dashes, to set off amplifying, explanatory, or digressive elements. Use commas, however, if the two parts are closely related.

b.     Use to enclose optional additions to a word, when the author wants to allow for alternative interpretations or applications of a statement.

e.g. Students will take their additional subject(s) in their own time.

c.     Use to enclose numbers or enumerative letters in a list. If they are in continuous text it’s usual to put parentheses on either side: (i), (ii) etc., but when they stand at the margin in a list the second parenthesis alone is enough.

e.g. Education options missionary parents may choose in Japan include (1) public school, (2) home school, and (3) private international school.

e.g.

1) public school

2) home school

3) private international school

d.     Use to enclose a whole sentence which forms a parenthesis within a paragraph.

e.      Use to enclose expressions such as “that is,” “namely,” “e.g.,” “i.e.,” and the element introduced in parentheses if the break in thought is greater than that signaled by a comma.

e.g. Bones from several animals (e.g. a dog, a cat, a squirrel, a pigeon) were found in the grave.

f.     Place ending punctuation outside a closing parenthesis if the word or phrase in the parentheses interrupts or is interjected into a sentence. e.g. A consistent form should be followed (do not punctuate by ear).

g.     When a question mark or an exclamation point is part of the parenthetical matter, place the question mark or exclamation point inside the closing parenthesis. e.g. I asked for some medicine (or something to help my pain!).

When quoting scripture, place the period/full-stop after the parentheses containing the reference unless it is a block quotation. (See Quotation marks)

e.g. “In the beginning  God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

Period (BrE: Full-stop)

a.     Use in vertical listings of numerals or letters:

e.g.
1.
2.
3.

Do not use periods in combination with parentheses/round brackets. See Parentheses (BrE: Round brackets)

b.    With in-text references

Place the period after the reference.

e.g. “For Luther the most radical thing one could do was to learn the basics of the faith with the simple trust of a little child” (p. 27).

e.g. The shortest verse in English Bibles is “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

c.   With closing quotation marks.

(AmE) Periods are always placed inside quotation marks (even if a quotation is only a portion of the sentence).

e.g. The dog barked, “Woof, woof.”

e.g. The survey response said, “We always look forward to getting Japan Harvest in our mailbox.”

(BrE) Full stops are placed outside inverted commas unless a quotation stands by itself as a full sentence.

e.g. The dog barked, “Woof, woof”.

e.g. The survey response stated, “We always look forward to getting Japan Harvest in the post.”

 d.   Place periods after initials and abbreviations. (AmE), e.g.:

Mrs. Susan C. Smith

*  Exceptions: SI units eg kg, g; compass points eg NW; chemical symbols; currency symbols

e.   (BrE) Use full stops after abbreviations but not contractions (CanE–suspensions).

e.g. Rev., incl., a.s.a.p., Mr, Mrs

f.   Lists.

No period/full stop after list items unless one item forms a complete sentence. (If so, use periods for all items within that list, even fragments.)

e.g.

1. Buy eggs.

2. Pizza.

3. Find a good rental agent.

Place names, Japanese spelling

See Romanization of Japanese terms > Names, Japanese spelling