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What's the difference between parenthesis, braces and brackets?

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LimpyLionel | 18:18 Sat 16th Jul 2011 | Jobs & Education
4 Answers
What's the difference between parenthesis, braces and brackets?

And could you give me an example when to use each of those?

Thanks.

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In the UK, 'parentheses' and 'brackets' are the same: ( )
In the USA they're either 'parentheses' or 'round brackets'.
Here in the UK, I'd always call them simply 'brackets' except that I might refer to something as being 'in parentheses'.

Braces is a solely American term for what most Brits would call 'curly brackets': { }

Apart from when...
19:05 Sat 16th Jul 2011
In the UK, 'parentheses' and 'brackets' are the same: ( )
In the USA they're either 'parentheses' or 'round brackets'.
Here in the UK, I'd always call them simply 'brackets' except that I might refer to something as being 'in parentheses'.

Braces is a solely American term for what most Brits would call 'curly brackets': { }

Apart from when studying mathematics (where different types of bracket have very different meanings), almost the only time that I've ever found the need to use anything other than 'normal' brackets is when one pair of brackets is embedded between another pair. Then using curly or square brackets for one of the two pairs can make it easier for the reader to follow what is going on.

Note that in the USA, a 'bracket' is usually what Brits would call a 'square bracket'.

Confused? Don't worry about it!
Good old (round) brackets are nearly always good enough!

Chris
It only becomes important if you write computer code. Chris has more or less explained it.
Question Author
Thanks, Buenchico.
-- answer removed --

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