Parenthesis: red flying fox
The Grammar Bit!
The three sentences opposite all contain a parenthesis. A parenthesis (bold) is an additional piece of information added to a sentence. Brackets, dashes and commas can all be used to indicate parenthesis. Notice how these punctuation marks work in pairs and how the meaning of the sentence would remain unchanged if this additional information were to be removed.
Try to think of parenthesis as if the writer is whispering in your ear, “Here is a little bit of extra information. It’s not vital that you know it, but it is interesting.”
Read the sentences out loud with your partner. One of you read the main sentence and one of you be the parenthesis. Then swap over.
Now read each sentence out loud on your own. Do you notice how your voice changes slightly to include the extra information?
1) The little red flying fox – which is actually a bat – travels across Australia, roosting in trees, swamps, mangroves, rainforests and woodlands.
2) These marvellous migratory mammals (with a wingspan of up to 3 feet) feed mainly on fruit and the nectar and pollen of eucalyptus flowers.
3) The little red flying fox, renowned for its excellent climbing skills, can live up to fifteen years in the wild.
Did you know?
Flying foxes, also known as fruit bats, belong to a group of megabats that are among the largest bats in the world. One of the largest is the giant golden-crowned flying fox, which can have a wingspan of up to two metres!