Does The Full Stop Go Inside or Outside The Brackets?

Understanding the correct placement of full stops (periods) either inside or outside brackets is crucial for proper punctuation in writing. This guide provides clarification on the rules governing this aspect for clearer and accurate writing.

Rule One: Complete and Incomplete Sentences

The decision to place a full stop inside or outside the brackets largely depends on whether the text within the brackets forms a complete sentence or not.

Complete Sentence in Brackets:

If the brackets contain a complete sentence that is not part of the broader sentence, the full stop should be placed inside the brackets.


This is the main sentence. (This is the complete sentence within the brackets.)

Incomplete Sentence in Brackets:

If the words within the brackets provide additional information to the broader sentence, and do not form a complete sentence themselves, the full stop should be placed outside the brackets.


This is the main sentence (with extra information).


Rule two: Other Punctuation Marks

The full stop is not the only punctuation mark influenced by the use of brackets. Commas, question marks and exclamation marks also align with these rules.

Example (Full Stop):

I visited New York (which was exhilarating).

Example (Question Mark):

Do you think we (you and I) could go to the park?

Will it rain today? (I hope not.)

Example (Exclamation Mark):

I can’t believe we won! (This is surreal.)

Rule three: Abbreviations

In the case of abbreviations, it’s correct to use a full stop within the brackets, even if they’re in the midst of a sentence. This is the exception to the common rule, as the full stop in this context signifies abbreviations.


He likes fruit (apples, bananas, grapes etc.).

Colorful letters


Understanding the rules of full stops with brackets is vitally important for effective and accurate writing. By following these rules, you can present your thoughts and arguments clearly, improving the readability of your text and its impact on readers. Keep these points in mind when writing with brackets in any form of text, from essays to blog posts, for clear and effective expression. Always remember, the best practice is to follow the rules, but should bracketed information disrupt the flow of your writing, consider rewriting the sentence to maintain clarity.

Related articles

Leave a Comment