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The dash is a punctuation mark that is usually written in the middle of a line of text.[1] A hyphen is sometimes called a dash, but it is used differently. Dashes are used to add more drama to writing. But they can easily be overused. The two main forms of dashes are:

  • The en dash (–) is the shorter of the two. It is longer than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash.[2] In normal text it is about the width of the letter "n".[3] An en dash is used to connect two numbers that make up a range (for example pages 3–6).[3] It is also used to show a range of dates (2010–2011) or of time (11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.).[2]
  • The em dash (—) is so-named because it is about the length of an uppercase M.[3] They are best used to show emphasis or for an interruption in thought.[3] They can also be used in place if a comma, parentheses, or a colon.[4] But they are less formal than the punctuation marks they replace.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "What Is A Dash?". Grammarly Inc. https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/punctuation/dash/1/what-is-a-dash/. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "En dash". The Punctuation Guide. http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/en-dash.html. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Suzanne Gilad. "Using Em Dashes and En Dashes Properly". Dummies. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. http://www.dummies.com/education/language-arts/grammar/using-em-dashes-and-en-dashes-properly/. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Em dash". The Punctuation Guide. http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/em-dash.html. Retrieved January 12, 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]