Bracket facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Brackets
( ) { } [ ]
Round brackets or parentheses Curly brackets or braces Square brackets or simply brackets (US)
Punctuation
apostrophe   '
brackets [ ]  ( )  { }  ⟨ ⟩
colon :
comma ,  ،  
dash ‒  –  —  ―
ellipsis   ...  . . .      
exclamation mark  !
full stop, period .
guillemets ‹ ›  « »
hyphen
hyphen-minus -
question mark  ?
quotation marks ‘ ’  “ ”  ' '  " "
semicolon ;
slash, stroke, solidus /    
Word dividers
interpunct ·
space     
General typography
ampersand &
asterisk *
at sign @
backslash \
basis point
bullet
caret ^
dagger † ‡ ⹋
degree °
ditto mark ” 〃
equals sign =
inverted exclamation mark ¡
inverted question mark ¿
komejirushi, kome, reference mark
multiplication sign ×
number sign, pound, hash #
numero sign
obelus ÷
ordinal indicator º ª
percent, per mil  % ‰
pilcrow
plus, minus + −
plus-minus, minus-plus ± ∓
prime     
section sign §
tilde ~
underscore, understrike _
vertical bar, pipe, broken bar |    ¦
Intellectual property
copyright ©
copyleft 🄯
sound-recording copyright
registered trademark ®
service mark
trademark
Currency
currency sign ¤

؋ ​₳ ​ ฿ ​ ​ ₵ ​¢ ​₢ ​ $ ​₫ ​₯ ​֏ ​ ₠ ​ ​ ƒ ​₣ ​ ₲ ​ ₴ ​ ₭ ​ ₺ ​₾ ​ ​ ₦ ​ ₧ ​₱ ​₰ ​£ ​ 元 圆 圓 ​៛ ​₽ ​₹ ₨ ​ ₪ ​ ​₸ ​₮ ​ ₩ ​ ¥ ​

Uncommon typography
asterism
fleuron, hedera
index, fist
interrobang
irony punctuation
lozenge
tie
Related
In other scripts
  • Chinese
  • Hebrew
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Category
  • Book

Brackets are tall punctuation marks used in matched pairs within text. They are used in mathematics and in literature (written language). They are sometimes used to set apart or interject other parts of the text. They are noted as left/right: the left bracket is "[" and the right bracket is "]".

In the American English, "bracket" usually refers specifically to the "square" or "box" type. In British English, "bracket" normally refers to the "round" type, which is called a "parenthesis" mark in American usage.

Parentheses are the curved brackets "(  )". They are also called round brackets, curved brackets, oval brackets, or, colloquially, parens.

Parentheses have several different meanings, such as:

  • noting optional text:  "(this is optional)";
  • showing other word endings:  "vote(s)" or "quick(ly)"
  • adjusting the meaning:  "There are some (many) pages".
  • adding humor:  "They sell pre-owned (read: "used") cars".
  • indicating a negative number:  $90 - $100 = ($10)
  • grouping terms in a calculation:  6 x (2 + 3) = 30.
  • showing emphasis for attention:  "(((wow)))".

There are also other uses for parentheses.

Parentheses enclose text which could be left out, without destroying or altering the meaning of a sentence. In most writing, overuse of parentheses is usually a sign of a badly structured text. A milder effect may be obtained by using a pair of commas around the text, although if the sentence contains commas for other uses, then visual confusion may result.

Parentheses may be used in formal writing to add more information, such as in:

"Sen. John McCain (R., Arizona) spoke at length"

They can also note "either singular or plural" for nouns, such as in the word "claim(s)".

Other pages


Bracket Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.