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Did you know that commas can effectively replace brackets?

By 4 October 2017Language Tips

Commas can replace brackets

Brackets can be replaced with commas for a more formal writing style.

Here is how the example in the image above can use commas instead of brackets:

Mr Ferguson is prescribed metformin, a 2mg tablet taken in the morning, and lactulose, 50mg of syrup, taken after lunch.

Some students would put the doses of the 2 medications in brackets but, in general, brackets should be avoided in formal writing.

Commas work well here to separate the dose from the name of the medication. Here’s another example:

Please monitor Mrs Walker’s compliance with her medication. She is prescribed warfarin, 1 tablet to be taken in the morning, and Ventolin, to be taken as required.

Commas have many uses: