Saturday, 4 April 2015

D is for Dash

A dash is a punctuation mark that looks like an extended HYPHEN. It comes in two sizes,
the em dash (—), the size of letter m and an en dash (-), the size of letter n.
The em dash is used to mark a break in sentences.
1.       It can be used in pairs to show words in PARENTHESIS:
Example: All four of them—Sita, Ravi, Jai, and Bindu—were dancers.

2.       It can introduce something that develops, or is an example of what has gone before:
Example: You must have seen it, I feel —the triangular shaped flag with a dragon inside it.

3.       In writing dialogue, the dash is used to show breaks in thought and shifts in tone:

Example: "Do you even realize that I —" Raj suddenly paused talking and started to doodle on his book.
"That you what?" I asked.

"That I — leave it, it doesn’t change anything."

  •          An en dash is used to show sequences.

Example: A­-Z, 2010-2011.

  • It is also used between numbers.

Example: Twenty-eight

Nowadays some people use en dashes in place of em dashes and treat both as the same as some word processers doesn’t have em dashes. 

It is often recommended to not use more dashes while writing fiction. Though it comes handy once in a while, if your work is littered with dashes, it look inelegant and editors often edit them out.

This post is a part of the APRIL A-Z Challenge  


  1. Good to learn about em and en dashes. My keyboard only has an en dash.

    1. We have to insert the em dashes using the symbols option in word.

  2. Em dashes, en dashes, hyphens, commas, colons, semi-colons... they all give me a headache. :(

    Scribbles From Jenn - Visiting from the A to Z Challenge

    1. Doesn't they give us all head aches. It is fun to learn to order them about though. :)

  3. Em and en ... this is new to me. Thank you for sharing. :)

    1. Glad that you liked this Sheetal Susan Jacob. :)


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