Position of bracketed adjectives showing afterthought or preference

< Previous | Next >

Englishmypassion

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Hi all,
Where would you place the bracketed adjective in the following sentence? The adjective has to remain bracketed.
a) Wear a bright-coloured ( preferably red) shirt when it's foggy.
b) Wear a bright-coloured shirt ( preferably red) when it's foggy.

To me, on the one hand, the adjective seems all right before the noun "shirt", on the other the word "preferably" seems to be an afterthought, hence after the "shirt" in parenthesis.
To be precise, half a hour earlier, a) seemed better to me, but now b) seems better:confused::D! ( I also think probably both are right.)
Thanks a lot.
 
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    They are both correct. I agree that putting the parenthetical after "shirt" does make it sound more like an afterthought. In fact, if put before "shirt," the phrase would probably look better if offset with commas, rather than parentheses: Wear a bright-coloured, preferably red, shirt...
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Then I'm on the right track, according to Copyright, but Juhasz suggests changing punctuation.
    Thank you both of you for your insightful answers.
     

    Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Not necessarily. Actually, if I were writing informally, in a stream-of-consciousness sort of way, I'd opt for choice b. If I were a park ranger and writing instructions for hikers, I would use the commas, since official instructions probably don't include afterthoughts.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top