Parenthesis: sardine

2 - The Grammar Bit

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?

Scintillating Sentences

1) The sardines, desperately trying to escape, twist and turn in the water like a giant, shimmering, dancing shadow.

2) The seals (hungry and ready to feast) work together to move the fish into tight balls that are easier to attack.

3) The copper shark – who had smelt blood – swam slowly and confidently towards his share of the sardine supper.

Did you know?

You may have heard of the saying “packed like sardines?” It is used to describe objects and people that are crowded tightly together – just like sardines in a tin. ‘Sardines’ is also the name of a popular children’s game. Have you ever played it? Why do you think it is called this?