Parentheses and Dashes - eAge Tutor

Parentheses and Dashes


Punctuation plays an important role in English language. If you are a writer or aspire to be a writer, you need to be very sure about the usage of  punctuations. In modern times  two types of punctuations, namely, parentheses and dashes,  have created a lot of confusion amongst the writers and not only the writers but also the native English speakers.

Parentheses & Dashes

In this topic, we will identify both parentheses and dashes and learn about their significance and usage in a sentence.


One of the important punctuations is parentheses. It is represented by the sign (). They are used in pairs. It permits an extra meaning to the sentence. The meaning might as well be a rhetorical in the sentence. For example:

· It seems I drove fast (though it was just 100km/hour) and we have reached our destination in no time.
· She got A+ (I got it too) but she was praised much more than me.

This punctuation is used to fill an explanatory detail about a situation. For example:

· I got hit by that car (green one).
· She was in the house (that big bungalow type) before it rained.

It can also be used for numbers, while they are in series,

· The students who passed with distinction are (1) Akhil (2) Ramesh (3) Suresh

There is no need to use a question mark and an exclamation mark for indicating a doubt and surprise respectively,

· That person was a professor (?), or the dean.
· I was so involved in my work (!) that I forgot to attend my friend’s birthday party.


Dashes, like commas, semicolons, colons, ellipses, and parentheses, indicate added emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt change of thought. Experienced writers know that these marks are not interchangeable

“James- a talented guy, who loves to cook, dances very well and sings too- did not score well in exams though”.

Dashes are commonly used while writing a dialogue. When a dash is used, it brings a change in the writing and enhances the sentence by emphasizing a certain part. It shows how to break a sentence and change the tone of a sentence in a particular situation.



“Did he deliver the red roses across the streets?” – the manager of the flower shop asked one of his employees.
The employee said, “I asked one of the other employees to do my work while I was gone.”
“But I – oh god -I forgot again!”

· Jonathan-and his muddy socks-would always bring a disgust expression on his mother’s face.

· Moley-the leader of the group-failed to impress at the electronics expo.

By now it must be clear what parentheses and dashes are and how  it is beneficial for us when improving our English language. Practising it will improve your English and make you a better writer. An online spoken English course will help you master the difficulties in English and also help you in your profession.

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-By Chander Madan

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