How can I include my own words (of an extra information) within the quotation? Can I do it in the following way, with the words in bracket being my own?

To quote the words of the Buddha:

“Here, Rahula, some monks [the Buddha has been pointing to himself, according to the commentary] live in forest. …”

Even if I use the aforementioned method, the problem is that the readers won't know whether the words in bracket are added later. So how to do?

2 Answers 2


The only way to avoid confusion is to put your comment outside the quote:

According to the commentary the Buddha was pointing to himself when he said, "Here, Rahula, some monks live in the forest."


Brackets should be used rarely and should be used only when ESSENTIAL extraneous information is necessary for reader understanding or as a necessary grammatical feature at the beginning of a quote.

This is because the reader loses focus. I never finished reading your sentence my first two times through..

I would simply remove your brackets in this case. The statement within the brackets could be used at the beginning of the sentence, but it confuses the point in my opinion. If it's possible to delete it without obscuring your thesis, I would consider doing so.

Another option is to end the paragraph with the quote and start a new paragraph with Of note ... This would allow you to subsequently postulate WHY Buddha did what he did. However, that is not your question.

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