The brackets are double spelling signs, one for the opening and the other for the closing, which are found limiting a sentence that is interspersed with another , these have to be totally related, especially if it is expressions of computer language or mathematics. It can be applied the same as parentheses, but less frequently.
These signs are represented graphically by two facing semi-rectangles respectively . In ancient times they were also called square brackets, straight brackets, rectangular brackets or claudates.
What are the functions of the brackets?
Its main function is to frame a statement that contains clarifying or complementary information. They must be written glued to the first and last character of a sentence, but at the same time separated from the element that follows or relates to them.
If this sign is followed by a punctuation mark in the closing, no space should be left between them. If it is the first word of the sentence, it must be written in lowercase, unless the opening bracket is placed before a period.
Other important functions:
- They are used to isolate the fragments that are not part of the main speech, but add additional information.
- The texts interspersed between these signs may function as extensions, development of an acronym, clarifications or rectifications, among others. In these cases, the possibility of using the comma to frame them can also be given.
Despite this, these signs presume greater isolation and could be clearer if the framed fragment is long enough and contains a punctuation of its own.
- The parentheses can take precedence over the brackets, when it comes to the delimited use of a speech, since they are going to be used when it is necessary to insert information within a text that is already within the parentheses.
Example: Van Goh’s final exhibition (which included his expressive works such as Sunflowers ) will be finished the following week.
How are the brackets used? When should they be used?
These are generally used in a similar way to parentheses that add some information that clarifies or complements the text. When combined with other orthographic signs, it should be placed after the bracket that makes the closing.
This sign is used on the following occasions:
- When part of the text that has a clarification or an annotation that is already in parentheses is enclosed. It can be a word, a letter, a phrase, a complete sentence and even a large text that requires it.
- In poetry the opening is placed at the beginning of an excess of verse that does not fit completely in its line, which must be formed by whole words and aligned on the right with the upper line.
- In plays, these signs include the information of what the characters must say separately, in this case it is mostly placed in the closing bracket.
- In linguistics they are used to be able to enclose various phonetic transcriptions, that is, what is written inside them is done in round letters.
- In the copy of writings or inscriptions, the hypothetical data that is missing in the original must be placed within these signs and they are replaced by as a supposition.
- In direct citations, it is used to be able to separate all the passages of a text unrelated to its original, which have been made by the author of the citation, in order to adapt or accommodate the text to its wording.
- They are used to enclose the ellipsis, when a part of a written text is omitted, be it a single word or simply a fragment.
- In the bibliographic references, it is used to be able to enclose the data that do not fit in the source, but have been acquired from other means.
- In mathematical contexts, they are the ones that separate the operations that at the same time contain other operations that are inside the parentheses.
The square brackets in the language matter
These signs in this subject are used in:
Using square brackets within parentheses
When in a statement that is in parentheses, it is necessary to incorporate some clarifying note or that has precision. Example: La Gioconda (painted by Leonardo Da Vinci [1452 – 1519]) is a pictorial work …
Use of the bracket in the transcription of texts
Only to mark any modification that you want to make in the original text, to make clarifications, amendments, add something or develop an abbreviation. Example: There are other [alternatives] in today’s life; Today’s [m] ujer is professional and attractive.
Use of square brackets in citations
It contains three points between them, to show in the duplication that part of a text, something that is being omitted from the original text. Example: Look where you indicated. I turned back to ask her again and when I didn’t see her […] I didn’t want to enter the room because it was very dark.
Use of square brackets in poetry
It is placed in the opening before the words that are at the end of the verse when it has not been written in a single line and it is already finished, then it must be placed to the right in the line that follows. Example:
Rooster a thousand times remembered.
Legend of an oppressed people.
Witnesses of passionate cares.
Notary of commitments
The brackets in computing
In programming and in computer language, the use of this spelling sign is critical, since it uses a lot the brackets one within the other that depend on the sequence of an opening and a closing to be able to define the contextual meaning of what is wanted show.
Uses of square brackets in programming
- To refer to some element of an array or also sometimes to be able to define the number of elements in an array, specifically in C: queue .
- In Objective – C, this sign is used to send a message to the procedure of an objective.
- In many programming languages, they are used to denote sequences or lists. Example: [6, 2, 8] is the sequence of the numbers 6, 2 and 8.
- On Unix, the square bracket is used as an abbreviation for the test command.
- In Python, they can be used here to indicate tuples or lists, which are also known as arrays.
- In various CLI languages, these tokens are used to express attributes.
- In JSON, they are used to achieve a definition of a sequence of values that is ordered and separated with commas within it.
- In Tcl, they are used to enclose the subscripts to be evaluated and also to substitute the results.
Square brackets in math
These signs are employed in this matter for the purpose of specific meanings. In mathematical expressions, the information that is included within these square signs is considered as the unit of the expression.
They can manage to expand the order of the equations and can show the reader, which are the parts of the equations that have to be analyzed first, that is, they are the ones that indicate the content that must be evaluated and analyzed before all the rest of The equation.
Bracket usage conclusion
To conclude with this topic, it can be said that this spelling sign, which has a utility quite similar to parentheses, is based on the content of clarifying and complementary information.
They serve to indicate that in an appointment there was some omission. This resource is very useful when for some reason you want to show that the quote possibly has more statements or in case of the extraction of specific information from a document.
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.