4 Different Types of Brackets: Uses and Rules in English Grammar

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4 Different Types of Brackets

Writing in English language requires punctuation that makes the information provided readable and meaningful. Brackets are one of the generally used punctuation marks in the English language. However, it has been seen that people use it loosely in their writing. To avoid any misuse and to help you understand its usage, this blog will provide you with the meaning and definition of brackets and 4 different types of brackets. Also, you will come across examples of bracket uses in the blog. Browse for more!!

Also read: Uses of Comma in English Grammar

What Are Brackets?

The term ‘brackets’ refers to the curly round lines () that are used while writing articles/blogs. This sign has an opening and a closing round of lines which are used in sentences to deliver more or extra information about someone or something. These are mostly used for quotes, to show when you have added something that was not originally there.  This symbol is a punctuation mark, which is often replaced with a pair of commas. 

Also read: 20+ Exclamation Mark examples in Sentences with Usage

4 Different Types of Brackets: Definition and Examples

Here are the four types of brackets:

  • Round brackets or Parentheses
  • Square brackets
  • Curly brackets or Flower brackets
  • Angle brackets

Round brackets or Parentheses

The major function of these brackets is to deliver added information about the person, place or thing which the writer is talking about. The thought is enclosed within a pair of curly rounds or else it can be removed from a sentence and yet it will make proper sense as they are mainly just extra information.

Example: It is more suitable for you to pursue the provided guidelines (unless she wants to be expelled).

Square brackets

Square brackets are generally used in mathematical expressions and coding languages. In the English language, square brackets are only utilised if you want to change the speaker’s original words while quoting them, to add a clarification or comment or to indicate missing letters or words within the sentence.

Example: Amisha said, “he [the head assistant] asked us to wait here.”

Curly brackets or Flower brackets

Curly brackets are also known as flower brackets which are mainly used in computer programming languages, mathematical expressions, and musical notation. In the English grammar, the usage of curly brackets is restricted. It is used only to show options within a list in a sentence.

Example: Remind me to buy cooking oil, soap, vegetables {onions, tomatoes, garlic, ladies’ finger, chillies and potatoes}, detergent, and fruits {apples, oranges and bananas}.

Angle brackets

The angle brackets are meant to be utilised in mathematical expressions and coding languages. Apart from this, the only other use of angle brackets is to mention email addresses and URLs. 

For example: <www.englishgrammar.com>.

Read more: How to Use Apostrophes? Learn 3 Golden Rules with Examples

11+ Examples of Different Types of Brackets

In the below examples, you can witness different types of brackets that are used in various sentences:

  • Mark Twain famously said, “There are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics [which can be misleading].”
  • The news reported a UFO sighting near [redacted coordinates].
  • Please [wash dishes] before starting your work.
  • The winning lottery numbers were {2, 19, 23, 39, 58}.
  • “Roses are red, {Violets are blue}, Sugar is sweet, And so are you!”
  • The coach yelled, “[Get in the game!]”.
  • William Shakespeare (1564- [death year unknown])
  • Richard, J. (2022) <article title>. Journal Name [Online], volume(issue), pages [available at: https://www.example.com].
  • Nf3 [This notation indicates a knight moving to the f3 square]
  • They visited their friend, Amit [Singh, not the other Amit they know].
  • The construction of the building began in the late 1700s [around 1755].
  • The software requires version 1.2.3 [download here].
  • They need to win this game [badly]!

Rules for using Brackets

Below are a few guidelines for brackets that should be remembered while writing:

  • Brackets specifically Parentheses () are utilised in elementary algebra to determine the order of operations. Following the BODMAS rule, words within the bracket are evaluated first. Ex: 5 * (2 + 4) is 30, (5 * 3) + 2 is 30.
  • Brackets are usually used in mathematical expressions and are known to indicate grouping where appropriate to prevent unclear statements and increase clarity.
  • The arguments related to function are always covered by parentheses. Ex: f(x), g(x).

Also read: Punctuate the Following Sentence (with Answers): Exercise

Differences between Brackets and Parentheses

Below it is explained very minor differences that are left unnoticed while writing articles:

Brackets are often square or box-shaped marks that are employed to explain missing data.Whereas, Parentheses are usually round or curved symbols used to provide supporting or supplementary data which is not contained in the main text.
Square brackets [ ] are used for special objectives such as in technical manualsUsed to enclose added information that is not necessary to the main sentence but adds explanation or clarification.

Read more: 19+ Quotation Marks Examples with Rules of Usage

Exercise on Brackets for School Students

In this part of the blog on 4 different types of brackets, we have some English Grammar exercises for school students. 

Exercise 1

4 Different Types of Brackets

Exercise 2

Instructions: Combine the following bracketed phrases into the sentences using the suitable brackets (round (), curly, or square []}).

1. The series [a classic] was packed with memorable characters.
2. Please choose a healthy snack (fruit or salad).
3. The scientist [Marie Curie] discovered radioactivity.
4. The meeting will be held on Thursday, (weather permitting).
5. The recipe calls for 4 cups of flour (adjusted based on consistency).

1. The series {a classic} was filled with memorable characters.
2. Please choose a healthy snack (fruit or salad).
3. The scientist (Marie Curie) discovered radioactivity.
4. The conference will be held on Thursday, [weather permitting].
5. The recipe calls for 4 cups of flour (adjust based on consistency).

Exercise 3

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Q1. How you should use brackets examples?

Ans: Brackets are punctuation marks that are used to include parentheses or additional information within a sentence. Such as: ‘Fred (who was a plumber by trade) fixed the leaking pipe’.

Q2. What is a bracket symbol?

Parentheses or round brackets are defined as: ‘( )’ brace brackets or Curly shows as: ‘{ }’ Square or box brackets represented as: ‘[ ]’.

Q3. Where are brackets used?

Ans: Brackets (parentheses) are punctuation marks that are used within a sentence to have information that is not essential to the main point.

This was all about the different types of brackets in Learn English. Hope you understand the concept and know how to proceed. You can also follow the page of Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

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