Quick tip: How to use full stops with brackets

Blog, On punctuation

In an earlier post, I explained the rules for using full stops in abbreviations.

But when it comes to the rules of full stops, a really tricky one is where to place them when using parentheses (or brackets). Or let me rephrase that – it’s really tricky if you don’t know the rule. It’s easy when you know how. 

Put the full stop OUTSIDE the brackets when the words in brackets are part of a sentence.

Example: Brown the meat all over (roughly three minutes).


Put the full stop INSIDE the brackets when the sentence in brackets is complete.

Example: Brown the meat all over. (This should take roughly three minutes.)

Now you know. Easy, right?

Written by Melissa Fagan, freelance content writer and editor

I help traditional and digital publishers deliver engaging and informative content that resonates with their readers. Internationally qualified writer and editor with 13 years’ publishing experience.

Email me: melissa.fagan@mfedit.com

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