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Parentheses ( ) are punctuation marks that are always used in pairs and contain material that is secondary to the meaning of a sentence. Parentheses should never contain the subject or verb of a sentence. A sentence should make sense if you delete any text within parentheses and the parentheses. Try reading the sentences below without the material in parentheses.
- Attack of the Killer Potatoes has to be the worst movie I have seen (so far).
- Your spinach and garlic salad is one of the most delicious (and nutritious) foods I have ever tasted!
Clarify the following sentences by adding parentheses as needed.
- Are you going to the seminar this weekend I am?
- I recommend that you try the sushi bar unless you don’t like sushi.
- I was able to solve the puzzle after taking a few moments to think about it.
- Please complete the questionnaire at the end of this letter.
- Has anyone besides me read the assignment?
- Please be sure to circle not underline the correct answers.
Adapted by Anna Mills from Writing for Success, created by an author and publisher who prefer to remain anonymous, adapted and presented by the Saylor Foundation and licensed CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.