Lesson video

In progress...


Hello, and welcome to today's English lesson.

I'm Ms Gayle and today we're going to continue with this unit's focus on grammar for writing.

By revising, how we can use brackets and dashes.

You'll need a pen and paper.

So take a moment to clear any distractions away, and make sure you have everything you need to hand.

First, write down the title, grammar for writing brackets and dashes.

Our main focus today will be on using brackets and dashes to show parenthesis.

Do you know what that means? Parenthesis is extra information that is separated from the rest of the sentence by a pair of punctuation marks.

Parenthesis is a way of adding extra information to a sentence.

You would put something in parentheses if it's a comment, an afterthought or additional information that's possibly interesting, but not essential to the subject.

So this is an example of a sentence that uses parenthesis.

The parenthetical phrase, as we call it, is surprisingly easy.

We've put that inside the brackets to show that it's not necessarily changing the overall meaning of the sentence, but it's a sort of additional side piece of information.

So, parenthesis can either be marked by brackets, dashes or commas, but brackets are probably the most common and curved brackets are sometimes even known as parentheses.

So, we're going to start with them.

Brackets can be used to add optional detail without being essential to the meaning of the sentence.

They always come in pairs, and they surround that parenthetical phrase, or extra information being added.

Here's an example of them.

You can see that the parenthetical phrase is included there in the middle.

That's optional information.

So, we've got a main clause surrounding a parenthetical phrase.

As you can see, the main clause has to make sense on its own.

And in the middle of the sentence, we have that additional explanation inside a pair of brackets.

And that's what's known as the parenthetical phrase.

I'd like you to pause the video to explain what brackets are used for.

Resume when you finish the task.

Well done.

Just check that you've written that brackets are used to add optional details without being essential to the meaning of the sentence.

So as we've seen, the brackets should surround that part of the sentence that is additional or maybe optional information.

And brackets can be quite functional.

So, the optional information might be something just useful or interesting or factual.

Often when you're reading, you might see the dates that are historical figure lived, or the things that they're most famous for added in brackets.

And that might help you in non-fiction writing because you can easily demonstrate your knowledge of what you're talking about in a clear and concise way.

What's inside the brackets must be optional, but that doesn't mean that it can't be interesting.

You might also think of brackets as a secret told in a whisper, which you want to share with your reader without altering the flow of your main clause.

Using brackets in your writing can be a really effective way of building a relationship with a reader.

It is almost as if you're intimate enough with them to share your secrets.

And this can really help you to inject personality, honesty, and even humour into your voice or persona that you've adopted in that piece of writing.

And if you think about your writing, as like a conversation between writer and reader, using brackets can really help to develop a close relationship.

Now, here's a few technical things that you need to remember and bear in mind.

If the bracket comes at the end of the sentence, punctuation should go on the outside of the bracket.

So as you can see from this example, that full stop goes outside the brackets.

Usually then full stops do go outside the bracket.

But if you're writing a full sentence inside them, the full stop-or alternative-should be inside the bracket.

And you can see that on this screen.

So there are some circumstances where you might use a full sentence inside a bracket.

It's less common, but you'll still need to be aware that in this case, the full stop does go inside the bracket.

As a general rule though, you should remember that if it's not a full sentence inside the bracket, it's just a parenthetical phrase, the full stop always goes outside.

So, I'd like to check your understanding of brackets by putting them in the right places in those examples on your screen.

Thank you for your efforts there.

I'd like you to check your answers now.

So the first one, those dates , that's the parenthetical phrase, the additional information, which would go inside the brackets.

Number two, one of my only places of refuge and comfort.

Number three, and remember, I don't scare easily.

Number four, not even in my years of training.

And number five, I'm ready to admit, much as it pains me to do so, that if I lose, I can't control my rage.

So let's just recap some of those key rules about using brackets.

A pair of brackets should surround the extra information.

That extra information should be optional.

The main clause must make sense on its own.

If you're using a full sentence inside the bracket, a full stop goes inside the bracket.

If you've got a parenthetical phrase inside the bracket, the full stop goes outside the bracket.

So, I'd like you to pause the video to complete this task.

Write your own sentences using brackets about your favourite food, the most amazing place you've ever been, and a famous person.

Resume the video once you've done.

Make sure you checked you've followed all the rules that we've talked about.

Well done.

Now let's move on to a dash.

Now the dash is a very versatile piece of punctuation.

Its job is to create a strong break or pause longer than a comma in your sentence.

So a dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parenthesis.

It can sometimes replace different forms of sentence punctuation, but it's considered less formal.

So it's not recommended that you overuse it.

So maybe limit yourself to just two dashes in a single sentence.

You can use dashes for parenthesis, and emphasis.

So parenthesis as we've seen with brackets is additional information or an afterthought.

And emphasis is where you want to stress or highlight a word, phrase or idea.

A dash, not to be confused with a slightly narrower hyphen, is used to show parenthesis.

And that's an example of how we're using parenthesis, this time in the same way as we did with brackets, but instead of brackets, we just want to whisper what's inside that parenthetical phrase.

In the case of a dash, we want to emphasise it.

We want it to stand out a little bit more.

So dashes are more intrusive than brackets.

Use a dash if you want to draw attention to, or emphasise the extra content.

If you want your reader to really take notice of what's inside that parenthesis, you need to use the dash instead of a bracket.

So in the example on your screen, I want to emphasise the idea of emphasis.

So I've used dashes to do that.

Although the grammatical structure is the same.

You need to remember that dashes emphasise that extra information.

Also unlike brackets, you can use a single dash on its own.

You can use a single dash at the end of a sentence to pause and emphasise the conclusion of your sentence, like this.

So in that way, it's quite similar to a colon.

But again, it's a bit more informal, a bit more casual.

So, don't use it too often.

So let's take some notes now on how to use a dash effectively.

First, you can use a single dash instead of a colon in order to.

Emphasise information at the end of a sentence.

And what are dashes used for? They're used to show parenthesis or add emphasis or draw attention to the extra content in your sentence.

So, those are the key things you need to know about dashes.

Now I'd like you to practise applying that in the sentences on your screen.

Put the dashes in the correct places in these examples.

Well done.

You should have something like this.

He blinked dazed by the sunlight and searched the sky.

She curled up tightly in a ball, no one would find her here.

He listened, really listened for the first time in years.

You are the one, the only one, who offered to help me.

So as you can see there's a mixture there of dashes that show emphasis and dashes for parenthesis.

I'd now like you to write your own sentences using dashes about your ambitions for the future, friendship, and animals.

Resume the video once you've done.

Well done.

So that comes to the end of our exploration of brackets and dashes.

I'd like you to create a fact file about how to use the punctuation you've mastered today.

Remember, I want you to include what the rule is.

Try and give an example.

And make sure that as you complete this piece of work, you're trying to memorise those rules so that you can use them in your writing for the rest of your life.

Thank you for your focus.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your learning today.

And please remember to complete the quiz at the end of the lesson.