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Comma Earlier than or After Parenthesis? Examples and Worksheet


The scholars in my class recurrently overuse commas, however the minute parentheses are included in a sentence, they’re nowhere to be seen. That is as a result of false impression {that a} pair of parentheses replaces using commas, however this isn’t at all times the case.

This can be a widespread situation writers wrestle with, and we evaluate the essential guidelines of utilizing commas and parentheses to assist them perceive when to make use of them collectively and when to not.

Parentheses usually offset expressions (referred to as parenthetical expressions) that will in any other case be used with a set of commas to create a bigger sentence. Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply the commas at all times go away fully. Check out the fundamentals of learn how to use these collectively and follow with a easy worksheet that can assist you get it proper.

Fundamental Guidelines of Commas Use

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Commas are used to separate added particulars and fundamental sentence components inside a whole sentence. They point out a slight pause and assist present circulation to the concepts being introduced. With out them, phrases would jumble collectively, and the message may very well be misplaced.

College students usually make the error of together with a comma anytime they take a quick pause of their writing. They suppose their speech dictates the comma location fairly than fundamental grammar guidelines. However, comma guidelines aren’t tough to comply with.

They’re utilized in six methods:

  1. With compound sentences to separate unbiased clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions
  2. When itemizing three or extra gadgets
  3. To divide coordinator adjectives of equal rank
  4. After an introductory clause, phrase, or phrase
  5. With parenthetical expressions that aren’t enclosed inside a parenthesis
  6. With nonessential expressions

You additionally use them to separate places, dates, addresses, and different comparable gadgets.

Fundamental Guidelines of Parentheses Use

Parentheses (additionally referred to as spherical brackets) are one method to offset the easy language of a parenthetical expression. My college students wrongly assume that if a set of parentheses are used to offset info, they change commas fully.

This isn’t at all times true, and understanding learn how to use parentheses is step one towards understanding when a comma must also be included.

Parentheses are used to set off nonessential supplementary materials. They’re the strongest separator you should use for asides, however solely when the knowledge contains a number of easy sentences or is just not wanted to know the remainder of the sentence.

You may as well use parentheses to set off numbers or letters representing a sequence or embrace particular occasions or dates.

When to Use a Comma With Parentheses

Commas and parentheses can be utilized alongside each other, however it is very important keep in mind from the foundations above that they serve totally different functions inside a sentence. To be able to decide if a comma belongs with parentheses, maintain this rule in thoughts:

Commas needs to be used with parentheses ONLY IF the sentence would require a comma WITHOUT the parentheses.

For instance, the next sentence DOES NOT require a comma in its unique kind. Subsequently, you wouldn’t add one if parentheses are added:

  • Authentic: Sarah accomplished her homework to keep away from doing it over the weekend.
  • With Parentheses: Sarah accomplished her homework (all in a rush) to keep away from doing it over the weekend.

If the unique sentence requires a comma, you would come with the comma with the parenthesis.

For instance:

  • Authentic: As soon as Sarah had accomplished her homework, she had issue convincing her mom to exit with buddies.
  • With Parenthesis: As soon as Sarah had accomplished her homework (all in a rush), she had issue convincing her mom to exit with buddies.

Does the Comma Belong Earlier than or After a Parenthesis?

Remembering the above comma guidelines is simple for college kids, however convincing them to use the place the comma belongs is one other story. Though they be taught easy grammar in elementary college, they’re anticipated to retain and apply these classes independently as soon as they’re in secondary college.

That is additionally a simple rule to recollect; you must keep in mind why parentheses are used within the first place: to offset info NOT important to understanding the sentence. Subsequently, commas ought to by no means be positioned earlier than parentheses (with one exception, defined beneath). Place the comma after parentheses for proper sentence format. 

For instance:

  • After making the cellphone name to verify the appointment (and ready on maintain for over 20 minutes), Ana needed to rush again to work.

There may be ONE exception to this rule, and that’s when you find yourself utilizing parentheses to set off numbers or letters that symbolize a sequence. This really follows fundamental commas rule use, however it does place the comma subsequent to the main parenthetical mark.

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For instance:

  • Please comply with the instructions so as: (1) Put your title within the heading, (2) Quantity your papers, (3) write your corrections so as, and (4) flip in.

When to Use Commas Inside Parentheses

Commas additionally belong inside parentheses after they comply with the right guidelines of comma punctuation mark use. If commas are correctly punctuating the fabric inside the offset, then they need to be used.

For instance:

  • I picked up the social gathering provides (balloons, streamers, and cake candles) after work since Dani had forgotten them.

Let’s Evaluation

Getting each native and English language studying college students to be assured writers begins with good grammar expertise. When my college students are not sure of whether or not they need to place a comma with a set of parentheses, I ask them to rewrite the sentence with out the offset. If the sentence would usually be punctuated with a comma, then they know they should place the comma following the closing parenthesis.

Something positioned inside the parenthetical components must also be punctuated correctly with commas.

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