Quick Answer: When do you use dashes in a sentence?

When to use a dash or hyphen in a sentence?

A hyphen joins two or more words together while a dash separates words into parenthetical statements. The two are sometimes confused because they look so similar, but their usage is different. Hyphens are not separated by spaces, while a dash has a space on either side.

How do you use dashes in a list?

Use an Em Dash to Bring Focus to a List. When a sentence begins with an independent clause and ends with a list, you can use a colon between the clause and the list. When the list comes first, it’s better to use a dash to connect the list to the clause.

How do you use dashes in formal writing?

Use an em dash sparingly in formal writing. In informal writing, em dashes may replace commas, semicolons, colons, and parentheses to indicate added emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt change of thought. Examples: You are the friend—the only friend—who offered to help me.

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When should I use a dash between words?


  1. Use a hyphen to join two or more words serving as a single adjective before a noun:
  2. Use a hyphen with compound numbers:
  3. Use a hyphen to avoid confusion or an awkward combination of letters:

How do you use a dash in grammar?

A dash is a little horizontal line that floats in the middle of a line of text (not at the bottom: that’s an underscore). It’s longer than a hyphen and is commonly used to indicate a range or a pause. Dashes are used to separate groups of words, not to separate parts of words like a hyphen does.

Can you use a dash instead of a comma?

Use Dashes in Place of a Comma

Em dashes can be used in pairs to replace commas when writing a parenthetical or interruptive phrase. The dashes have a slightly more emphatic feel, making the reader focus on this information that is set inside the special marks.

How do you use semicolons in a list?

Use a semicolon between items in a list or series if any of the items contain commas. There are basically two ways to write: with a pen or pencil, which is inexpensive and easily accessible; or by computer and printer, which is more expensive but quick and neat.

How do I insert an em dash?

Make an em dash or en dash with a keyboard shortcut

less simple: you need to use an alt code to get an em dash. If you have a numeric keyboard, hold down the Alt key and type 0151 for an em dash or 0150 for an en dash.

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How do you write a list in a sentence?

Format for Lists

  1. Use a colon to introduce the list items only if a complete sentence precedes the list.
  2. Use both opening and closing parentheses on the list item numbers or letters: (a) item, (b) item, etc.
  3. Use either regular Arabic numbers or lowercase letters within the parentheses, but use them consistently.

Can you use a dash in academic writing?

An em dash is used often in prose or academic writing to set apart a thought, author’s commentary, or an aside from the main clause of the sentence. It is used to indicate a sudden shift in thought or can also be used to create emphasis to a comment. You often see an ellipsis here; however, you can also use a dash.

What is a dash punctuation examples?

Dashes replace otherwise mandatory punctuation, such as the commas after Iowa and 2013 in the following examples: Without dash: The man from Ames, Iowa, arrived. With dash: The man—he was from Ames, Iowa—arrived. Without dash: The May 1, 2013, edition of the Ames Sentinel arrived in June.

Can you use a hyphen in an essay?

Compound adjectives are often (but not always) written with a hyphen. For example, even though we could very well write as in (1), we have to use the hyphen in (2): (1) I find this paper well written. (2) This is really a well-written paper.

Where is dash on the keyboard?

Hold down one of the Alt keys and type on the numeric keypad: 0150 for an en dash or 0151 for an em dash. The dash appears when you release the Alt key.

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What is this sign called in English?

British vs. American English

British English American English
The “! ” symbol is called an exclamation mark an exclamation point
The ” ( ) ” symbols are called brackets parentheses
The ” [ ] ” symbols are called square brackets brackets
The position of quotation marks Joy means “happiness”. Joy means “happiness.”

What does en dash mean?

An en dash is a mid-sized dash (longer than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash) that is mostly used to show ranges in numbers and dates. It can also be used for clarity in forming complex compound adjectives. To type an en dash on Windows, type Ctrl+Minus (-).

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