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7.31 Punctuation with parentheses

A parenthesis consisting of a complete sentence does not take an initial capital and final period unless it stands alone between complete sentences:

  • To achieve the best possible results, adopt a combination of the CPM and PERT methods. (See a model of such a combination in the attached paper.) This will provide you with an effective, low-cost control mechanism.

An opening parenthesis should not be preceded by any other mark of punctuation unless the parentheses are being used to enclose numbers or letters of enumeration (see 7.35 Letters and numerals):

  • I am (I hope) reliably informed that a new president has been appointed.

After the closing parenthesis, any punctuation which would be appropriate in the absence of the parenthesis should still be used:

  • I am (I hope), always have been and always will be an honest judge.

Before a closing parenthesis only a period, question mark, exclamation mark or quotation mark is permitted:

  • I have always been willing (do you not agree?) to hear both sides of the issue.