If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:1:57

Writing: Nonrestrictive and parenthetical elements — Harder example

Writing: Grammar

Video transcript

- [Instructor] By the time the antidote arrived, 87 days late, the men had already turned to stone. So I don't know what type of problem they had, but turning to stone, that seems pretty serious. But let's look at the grammar of it, so what's underlined. By the time the antidote arrived, dash, 87 days late, dash, the men had already turned to stone. So this seems like a pretty good use of dashes. 87 days late, it's a parenthetical, they're giving us a little bit of extra information. It's not necessary for the sentence, you could take this part out right over here, you could take this part out and it would still be a sentence that gives the same meaning. By the time the antidote arrived, the men had already turned to stone. So you could do that, but adding that 87 days late gives you some extra information, gives you some extra context for what's going on here. So this parenthetical, it seems like a good place to do it and it seems good to do it with dashes. This 87 days late, hey, that's a pretty strong thing that you would want to insert in there to add some important context to the sentence, and you'd want the dash on both sides, so I like it the way that it's written. Now these other choices, you wouldn't want to start with a comma and end with a dash, and you wouldn't want to start with a dash and end with a comma, and you need something to separate it off. You wouldn't say by the time the antidote arrived 87 days late the men had already turned to stone. This right here is a parenthetical, you could put parentheses around it, but I actually like putting dashes here because it's very important context. A parentheses, that's for parentheticals that hey, maybe it's nice to know, it's kind of a cute thing, you might make a little bit of an aside, but dashes are hey, this gives you some powerful context. Like wow, and it arrived 87 days late! So this one, you need some type of punctuation to mark off the 87 days late, so I would rule that one out as well.