This English Language quiz is called 'Parentheses, Brackets and Ellipses' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at middle school. Playing educational quizzes is a fabulous way to learn if you are in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade - aged 11 to 14.
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Now that you have a better understanding of language and words and how they relate to each other, it’s time to start to focus on using those words and putting them into creative written forms. When writing down stories, journals, book reports and letters, certain characters (or punctuation marks) are used to show emphases or clarifications to the readers.
Although there are a number of ways to convey what is to be emphasized, there are three standard methods all writers will use. These three methods include the use of parentheses, brackets and ellipses.
Parentheses ( ), as you may recall, are marks that are placed around information that is not actually needed in a sentence but includes items that the writer is using to clarify information or to provide the reader with additional knowledge. For example, let’s look at the following sentence:
John walked up to the very top of the Washington Monument (too many steps to bother counting) to see a bird’s eye view of the city.
In this sentence the writer wants the reader to know that John walked up to the very top of the Washington Monument to see a bird’s eye view of the city. The words in between the parentheses are not needed to make this a complete sentence as “too many steps to bother counting” is only added as an aside note but has nothing to do with the message being conveyed by the writer. However, with the words contained in the parentheses, the reader has an idea that there were a lot of steps climbed to get the view desired. Parentheses are generally used in to show added information in written material that is not “original quoted” material.
The second punctuation to show emphasis is the bracket. Brackets “[ ]” are used to show that something has been added or changed to an original text. For example, let’s look at the following sentence:
“Jackie jumped [rather clumsily] when a spider landed beside her!”
In this sentence the writer is giving a quote (shown by the use of quotation marks) of an original text, i.e., “Jackie jumped when a spider landed beside her!” However, the writer has added a couple of additional words to that original text, i.e., [rather clumsily]. The words in the brackets show the reader that the writer has added to the original text.
The third punctuation to show emphasis is the use of ellipses. Ellipses “…” are dots that show the reader that a word or a group of words have been left out on purpose. This is done in order to shorten the writing or because the additional words are not relevant to what is being described or needed. Ellipses are also used to show a pause in a dialogue. The ellipsis always has three periods or dots (…) except when the ellipsis comes at the end of a sentence. Then it will contain either, four periods (….), three periods and a question mark (…?) or three periods and an exclamation point (…!). Let’s look at the following two sentences:
The audience stood up and began singing “We are the champions my friends…” in perfect unison!
She checked off her list of items that included a comb, toothbrush, deodorant, camera….
In the first sentence the audience begins to sing very familiar words to a song. Rather than to write out all of the words (which could violate copyright laws), the writer indicates that the song continued through the use of the ellipses.
In the second sentence we see that a list of items is being described but the remainder of those items is not important so they are left off using the ellipses. In addition, as the list ends the sentence, a fourth dot is added to show the sentence and list has ended.
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