Brackets and Full Stop Placement (with Examples)
Brackets and Full Stop PlacementDoes the full stop go inside or outside the closing bracket? This is a common question. Here is the quick answer:
Here is an example:
- Lee loves cheese-and-onion pies and eats at least two a day. (On weekends, he routinely eats four.) However, he burns hundreds of calories cycling to work.
- Lee loves cheese-and-onion pies and eats at least two a day (four at weekends). However, he burns hundreds of calories cycling to work.
- Lee loves cheese-and-onion pies and eats at least two a day (four at weekends.) However, he burns hundreds of calories cycling to work.
End Punctuation with Brackets Follows LogicThe use of end punctuation with brackets follows logic. If the end punctuation belongs to the text inside the brackets, keep it inside. If it belongs to the text outside the brackets, leave it outside.
A Sentence in Brackets within a SentenceConfusion arises when there is a complete sentence within a sentence (as opposed to afterwards). For example:
- Great white sharks generally hunt by detecting the electrical fields (They can detect less than one billionth of a volt) emitted by the movements of their prey.
- As the wine-growing season in France (we lived in France during my twenties) draws to a close, the festivals start. (Note the lowercase w on we. You have a choice between uppercase and lowercase.)
There's one more quirk. If the text inside your brackets (regardless of whether it's a full sentence or not) warrants a question mark or an exclamation mark, you must include them with the text inside the bracket. For example:
- I ate a whole pack of chocolate biscuits (is that 24?). (Note the full stop to end the main sentence.)
- I ate a whole pack (yes, a whole pack!) of chocolate biscuits.
Read about square brackets. Read more about round brackets.
Read about square brackets.