# Brackets vs. Parentheses: The Great Showdown

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Brackets vs. Parentheses: Which is which? Have you ever wondered about the difference between them? Although they may look similar, these two punctuation marks have different functions in writing. Parentheses, also known as round brackets, are used to add extra information to a sentence. On the other hand, brackets, also known as square brackets, are used to enclose words or symbols that were not in the original quote. In this article, we will provide you the information you need to distinguish the two. Keep reading and explore!

Brackets vs. Parentheses

Contents

## Brackets vs. Parentheses: Definition

### Definition of Parentheses

Parentheses, also known as round brackets, are punctuation marks that are used to set apart certain words or sentences. They are typically used to add extra information in text, which can be helpful in clarifying or emphasizing a point. The information within the parentheses is not necessary to the sentence, but it provides additional context or detail for the reader.

For example, “I am going to the store (which is just down the street) to buy some groceries” is a sentence that uses parentheses to provide additional information about the location of the store. The information within the parentheses is not necessary to the sentence, but it adds more detail for the reader.

In mathematics, brackets are used to group numbers or variables, or both. For example, in the expression (3 + 5) x 2, the parentheses indicate that the addition should be done first, and then the multiplication.

### Definition of Brackets

Brackets, also known as square brackets, are punctuation marks that are used mainly in quotations to add extra information that wasn’t in the original quote. They are also used in mathematics to group numbers or variables, or both.

For example, “The witness stated, ‘I saw the car [drive] away from the scene of the crime'” is a sentence that uses brackets to indicate that the word “drive” was not originally in the quote, but was added for clarity.

Square brackets are generally used to distinguish between sub-expressions of a complex mathematical expression.

Examples: [100−(3−1)+(7×8)],10×[(4−2)×(4×2)], etc.

## Brackets vs. Parentheses: Usage in Writing

### Parentheses in Sentences

Parentheses are used to enclose words or phrases that are not essential to the meaning of a sentence but provide additional information. They can be used to clarify or provide context to a sentence. Here are some examples:

• “I love to read (especially mystery novels).”
• “The concert (which was sold out) was amazing.”
• “I’m going to the store (to buy some milk).”

### Brackets in Sentences

Brackets are used to enclose words or phrases that are not part of the original text. They are often used in quotations to indicate that the writer has added or modified the original text. Here are some examples:

• “The witness said, ‘I saw [the suspect] running away from the scene.'”
• “The article stated, ‘The company [had] a record year in profits.'”

## Brackets vs. Parentheses: Examples

### Examples of Parentheses

Parentheses are used to add information that is not essential to the sentence but provides additional context or clarification.

• Sarah (my neighbor) is a doctor.
• The concert (which was held last night) was amazing.
• The cake (which was made by my mom) was delicious.

In these examples, the information in parentheses is not necessary for the sentence to make sense, but it provides additional context or clarification.

### Examples of Brackets

Brackets are used to indicate that something has been added to a quote or to clarify information.

• The witness stated, ‘I saw him [the suspect] running away from the scene of the crime.
• The article stated that “the [new] policy would go into effect next month.”
• The characters [in the book] were well-developed and interesting.

In these examples, the information in brackets is added to clarify or modify the original quote or statement.

It is important to note that both parentheses and brackets should be used sparingly to avoid confusing the reader. They should only be used when the information they provide is relevant and necessary for the reader to understand the sentence.

Additionally, it is important to use proper punctuation when using parentheses or brackets. For example, if the sentence ends with a word in parentheses, the closing parenthesis should come before the period.

## Brackets vs. Parentheses: Differences

### Brackets vs. Parentheses in Math

In math, parentheses and brackets are used to indicate the order of operations and to group terms together. Parentheses are typically used to group terms that need to be evaluated first, while brackets are used to group terms for clarity or emphasis. For example:

• (3 + 2) x 4 = 20
• [25 x {3 + (2 x 4)}] = 275

In the first example, the parentheses indicate that the addition should be performed first, while in the second example, the brackets clarify that the multiplication in the parentheses should be performed before the addition in the curly brackets.

### Brackets vs. Parentheses in Quotations

In quotations, parentheses and brackets are used to add information that was not present in the original text. However, they have different uses and meanings. Parentheses are used to add non-essential information, while brackets are used to indicate that the information was added for clarity or to correct a mistake. For example:

• “He [the dog] barked all night.”
• “She said she was happy (even though she wasn’t).”

In the first example, the brackets clarify that “the dog” was added to the original text to make it clear who was barking. In the second example, the parentheses indicate that “even though she wasn’t” is not essential to the meaning of the sentence.

## Types of Brackets

### Square Brackets

Square brackets, also known as box brackets, are used to enclose words or phrases that are added to a quote or a sentence to clarify or explain its meaning. They are often used in journalism and academic writing to indicate that a quote has been altered or to add context to a quote.

For example, “The Cheshire [cat] was chasing the mouse” indicates that the word “cat” was added to the original sentence to make it clearer. Similarly, “[The cat] was chasing the mouse” indicates that the original sentence was “The Cheshire was chasing the mouse,” and the writer added “cat” to clarify who was doing the chasing.

### Angle Brackets

Angle brackets (>;<), also known as chevrons or guillemets, are used to enclose words or phrases that indicate a specific type of content, such as HTML tags, email addresses, or mathematical expressions. They are not commonly used in everyday writing but are essential in technical writing, coding, and programming.

### Curly Brackets

Curly brackets, also known as braces or curly braces, are used to enclose a group of words or phrases that are related to each other and form a block of text. They are commonly used in programming languages to indicate a block of code.

For example, “{ if (x > 0) { return true; } else { return false; } }” is a block of code enclosed in curly brackets that indicates a conditional statement. Similarly, “{ color: red; font-size: 16px; }” is a block of CSS code enclosed in curly brackets that indicates a style rule.

### Parentheses

Parentheses, also known as round brackets, are used to enclose words or phrases that provide additional information or clarification to a sentence. They are commonly used in academic writing, journalism, and creative writing.

For example, “The cat (who was black and white) was chasing the mouse” indicates that the information inside the parentheses is additional information about the cat. Similarly, “I went to the store (which was closed) to buy some milk” indicates that the store was closed at the time of the writer’s visit.

## Brackets vs. Parentheses: Citations and References

### Brackets vs. Parentheses in APA

In APA style, both parentheses and brackets are used in citations and references. Parentheses are used for in-text citations, where the author’s name and publication year are enclosed in parentheses at the end of the sentence. For example, (Smith, 2021). Brackets, on the other hand, are used to enclose the values that are the limits of a confidence interval in a citation. For example, [95% CIs -7.2, 4.3].

In the reference list, parentheses are used to enclose the publication year in the citation. For example, Smith, J. (2021). The title of the article. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), page numbers.

Brackets are used in APA style to indicate that information has been added to a quotation or to clarify a point. For example, “The sky was [bright] blue.”

### Brackets vs. Parentheses in MLA

In MLA style, parentheses are used for in-text citations, where the author’s name and page number are enclosed in parentheses at the end of the sentence. For example, (Smith, 23). Brackets are used in MLA style to indicate that information has been added to a quotation or to clarify a point. For example, “The sky was [bright] blue.”

In the Works Cited list, parentheses are used to enclose the publication information in the citation. For example, Smith, John. “The Title of the Article.” Journal Name, vol. 5, no. 2, 2021, pp. 23-35.

### Brackets vs. Parentheses in Chicago

In Chicago style, parentheses are used for in-text citations, where the author’s name, publication year, and page number are enclosed in parentheses at the end of the sentence. For example, (Smith 2021, 23). Brackets are used in Chicago style to indicate that information has been added to a quotation or to clarify a point. For example, “The sky was [bright] blue.”

In the bibliography, parentheses are used to enclose the publication information in the citation. For example, Smith, John. “The Title of the Article.” Journal Name, vol. 5, no. 2 (2021): 23-35.

## Brackets vs. Parentheses in Computing

In computing, parentheses and brackets have distinct functions and are used in various programming languages. Parentheses, also known as round brackets, are used to group expressions or for function calls. For example, in Python, you use parentheses to call a function, like this: `print("Hello, world!")`. In addition, parentheses can be used to control the order of operations in expressions.

On the other hand, brackets, also known as square brackets, are used to access elements of an array or a list. For example, in Python, you can access the first element of a list using brackets like this: `my_list[0]`. Brackets can also be used to define lists or arrays. In some programming languages, such as MATLAB, brackets are used for matrix operations.

It is important to note that the use of parentheses and brackets can vary between programming languages. For instance, in C++, parentheses are used for function calls and control of order of operations, while square brackets are used for array indexing. In JavaScript, square brackets are used for object property access.

Moreover, parentheses and brackets can be nested inside each other in complex expressions. For example, in Python, you can use parentheses inside brackets to access a specific element of a nested list, like this: `my_list[0](1,2)`.

What is the difference between parentheses and brackets in domain?

Parentheses and brackets are two types of punctuation marks used in writing. Parentheses are also known as round brackets and are used to enclose words, phrases, or clauses that are not essential to the meaning of a sentence. Brackets, on the other hand, are also known as square brackets and are used to enclose words, phrases, or clauses that are added to a quote or text to provide clarity or context.

When should you use brackets?

You should use brackets when you need to add information to a quote or text that was not originally there. For example, if you are quoting someone and they say “I love [chocolate] ice cream,” but you want to clarify that they actually said “I love vanilla ice cream,” you would use brackets to indicate that you have added the word “vanilla” to the quote.

What are the {} brackets called?

The {} brackets are called braces or curly brackets. They are used to enclose a set of items or to indicate a range of values in a list or series.

What are brackets?

Brackets are punctuation marks used to enclose words, phrases, or clauses that are added to a quote or text to provide clarity or context. They are also known as square brackets and are used in writing, journalism, and other forms of communication.

How to pronounce parenthesis?

Parenthesis is pronounced as puh-ren-thuh-sis.

Parentheses and brackets are two types of punctuation marks used in writing. Parentheses are also known as round brackets and are used to enclose words, phrases, or clauses that are not essential to the meaning of a sentence. Brackets, on the other hand, are also known as square brackets and are used to enclose words, phrases, or clauses that are added to a quote or text to provide clarity or context.

You should use brackets when you need to add information to a quote or text that was not originally there. For example, if you are quoting someone and they say \"I love [chocolate] ice cream,\" but you want to clarify that they actually said \"I love vanilla ice cream,\" you would use brackets to indicate that you have added the word \"vanilla\" to the quote.

Braces, also known as curly brackets, are used to enclose a set of items or to indicate a range of values in a list or series. They are often used in programming languages and mathematical expressions. Parentheses and brackets, on the other hand, are used to enclose words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence.