The dash is a family of punctuation marks which are not part of a word, but resemble long hyphens in appearance.

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3answers
639 views

Spaces and em-dash

In using the em-dash, where do you put the spaces? Which of the following is correct? School is based on the three R’s —reading, writing, and ’rithemtic. or School is based on the three R’s— ...
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1answer
47 views

Usage of of colon (:) and dash (─) [duplicate]

I often find use of colon (:) and dash (─) confusing. Let me explain this with the help of the following title appearing in an article: Moto ─ an excellent car Sometimes, I find colon (:) is ...
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2answers
78 views

Slashes for hyphens in compound modifiers

Take the phrase "a joint FBI-SFPD task force" for example. According to my boss, a slash can stand in for the hyphen. I tend to disagree. Is this grammatically correct? Stylistically acceptable?
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0answers
20 views

Using em-dash instead of parentheses and commas [duplicate]

Let's say I have the following sentence: "I didn't like the cake (the cookies were better), but I absolutely hated the egg rolls." Would it be grammatically correct (and colloquially okay, to someone ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Interchangeability of “--” (dash) and “:” (colon)

Let me cite two examples, one using "--" (dash) and the other using ":" (colon): John has three sisters -- Sita, Mita and Rita. John has three sisters: Sita, Mita and Rita. Grammatically, ...
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2answers
322 views

dash to connect two thoughts

How can I use a dash to correctly connect two and thoughts in a sentence? Is the following sentence correct with the dash in from or should I remove it? An S database allows access from – and can ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Space before/after emdash or not? [duplicate]

I have seen style manuals suggest that there be no space between emdash and the surrounding words. The following NY times article has spaces in the first sentence: "An expression of concern by ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “-” sign, particularly in Unix commands

While talking about commands for command-line interface, I sometimes need to pronounce how command should be typed, like this one: nc -l -p 1234 I used to pronounce - sign in this context as a ...
0
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1answer
25 views

Mail-in form…or mail in form?

We use a "Mail-In Registration Form." Or, should we be using a "Mail In Registration Form," without the dash?
1
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1answer
36 views

“the 10-years evolution show…” or “the 10-year evolution shows…” [duplicate]

What is the correct sentence between these two forms: "the 10-years evolution show..." or "the 10-year evolution shows...". ? Both answers seem okay to me. Also, what about the dash ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Using Dashes with a Possessive

If you have a possessive proper noun but want to add extra detail by using dashes, how should it be written? Example: Penny - our neighbour - has blonde hair. Would any of these options be ...
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0answers
28 views

Dash or parentheses in bulleted list

I have the a bulleted list with one of the bullets having additional things listed within it: .....including: - Bulk purchase and distribution of essential coffee inputs to members - fertilizer, ...
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2answers
166 views

Correct use of endash in range of minutes

I am currently working as a web developer, and will occasionally be asked to update a website. A "client" just send me an update containing this text: A 15-30-minute waiting-period is required ...
0
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1answer
81 views

Should I use comma or colon?

What punctuation is preferable in the sentence below? Complex sentences have two clauses, one main (or independent) and one subordinate (or dependent). Complex sentences have two clauses: ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between - and — in a phrase? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? When do I put a - in a sentence? Is it a more powerful comma? With a bigger pause?
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1answer
296 views

Numerical Range with En Dashes & Hyphens (a $3–$5-million-a-year business). Is this punctuated acceptably? [duplicate]

Is this acceptably punctuated? En dashes used between the numbers, and hyphens in the compound modifiers. I believe the two examples below are clear and concise. Do you agree with the punctuation ...
0
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1answer
195 views

what's the difference between a hyphen, a dash and a minus sign?

hyphen(-), dash(—), minus(-) What do I use when? and does it really matter? And what's their origin, why did people think they needed another very similar sign?
0
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1answer
79 views

Verbal compounds such as come-to-be, come-to-know, come-to-X

Reading about intellectual history and the history of natural science, I have very often come across the expression to come-to-be as a synonym for to come into being, to start to exist, to originate, ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Are commas and dashes truly interchangeable?

My English teacher told me that "dashes and commas are interchangeable". For instance, "My friend, Alex, ran to the store." and, "My friend–Alex–ran to the store." are both grammatically ...
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1answer
6k views

em dash followed by a comma [duplicate]

I have three cars — blue, red, and green — , two motorcycles, and four bicycles. Is this a correct use of comma after an em-dash? It seems quite weird. How should I use an em-dash and ...
0
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1answer
35 views

On correct using of dash

Which one of the following is more appropriate? ...offers scope for the theoretical integration of teaching, learning, and development with the culturally new user-generated and mediated contexts. ...
2
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3answers
4k views

What's the double hyphen after greetings in emails?

I usually see just format in the emails I receive daily: Hello Dorian-- I'm calling you in regard with the something... Thanks, I see comma after the greetings too but I am not sure ...
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4answers
3k views

What is a correct punctuation for a sentence starting with “One more thing”?

In the following sentence what would be the correct punctuation One more thing don't tell anyone about our conversation. Should "One more thing" be separated by comma, dash or colon? Or perhaps ...
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3answers
50 views

Jack London's list —X, Y, and a Z and a J

On the sled, securely lashed, was a long and narrow oblong box. There were other things on the sled—blankets, an axe, and a coffee-pot and frying-pan; but prominent, occupying most of the ...
0
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1answer
83 views

Is this use of the dash correct?

"But--" Boris tapped his pocket-- "your hotel." Is this use of dashes correct? Donna Tart uses this construction all the time. The speaker is interrupted with a dash, then the narrator is interrupted ...
2
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1answer
70 views

M-dash and emphasize

I love to emphasize. Here I'm emphasizing "determination." Is it the right way to do it? "If one word can sum up his career, it is determination—determination to fight back and do the impossible."
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2answers
6k views

When to choose em dash over parenthesis for parenthetical phrases?

According to Wikipedia: The em dash, m dash, m-rule, or "mutton" (—) often demarcates a break of thought or some similar interpolation stronger than the interpolation demarcated by parentheses ...
3
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1answer
192 views

Punctuating a sentence containing em dashes within commas [duplicate]

I always find myself writing sentences that contain clauses within clauses, and I can never decide what the right way to punctuate this is. I'm not specifying what kinds of clauses because they could ...
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1answer
133 views

Should I use … or —?

I came across this recently and curious as to which is correct. Here are a couple example sentences: I wish you would…oh, never mind. OR I wish you would—oh, never mind. In the above ...
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2answers
107 views

What is the correct hyphenation of “human skin tissue emulating gel”?

A type of gel designed to emulate human skin tissue. So, is this a "human skin tissue–emulating gel" (en dash)? Or, is it a "human-skin-tissue-emulating gel" (all hyphens)? Does anyone know the ...
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1answer
216 views

Why multiple length dashes (em, en, hyphen)? [duplicate]

I'm wondering why there are three different sizes (perhaps more?) for lines that separate characters? I understand the grammatical usage (or rather, I could look it up), but the benefit to readers is ...
175
votes
1answer
238k views

When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen?

I generally know how to use a hyphen, but when should I use an en-dash instead of an em-dash, or when should I use a hyphen instead of an em-dash?
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0answers
21 views

“Rights are X— X is Y — X is Z—Z is V". Instead of Rights are X; X is Y; X is Z;Z is V

I understand the em dash to be more dramatic and intense than a semi-colon. I'm checking on whether the decision to use the em dash here is also purely stylistic. “Rights” are a moral concept—the ...
0
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1answer
505 views

Should I used a dash for “often-used” and “well-documented”?

Not sure what this is called, but I have seen the following phrases with and without dashes: The doctor performed a well-documented procedure. Or: He took an often-used road to the farm. ...
6
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4answers
358 views

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)?

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)? Example from BBC News: Venezuela - a major oil producer - has been heavily affected by the fall in oil prices on ...
0
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1answer
84 views

punctuating more than one sentence within em dashes and parentheses midsentence

I cannot recast the following sentence. Is it punctuated correctly, i.e., the ending period, midsentence, before the second em dash? The department's philosophy -- When in doubt, let them out. ...
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8answers
7k views

Em dash vs semicolon: which is more appropriate in the following examples?

I am very confused by these, and even when I understand other people's usage of them I find it difficult to know when to employ them myself. For this reason, I am trying to make my own examples and ...
3
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1answer
139 views

punctuation if dash introduces question-sentences

He worried--why X; what will happen if Y? It seems that this construction expresses the idea best, but it creates a few punctuation questions. Should the first semicolon be question-mark? Is there ...
39
votes
7answers
32k views

Appropriate dash to use when attributing a quotation?

If I’m citing a poem or quotation, what kind of dash precedes the author’s name? Example: This Business of Printing; which I am heartily tired of, and repent I e’er attempted. . . .           ...
0
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1answer
191 views

What does the dash (“—”) in this sentence do? [duplicate]

Does "–" between methods and documenting have any function in this sentence? What is it trying to say? Moreover, multi-lingual texts, like vernacular works, have traditionally had strong ...
0
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2answers
56 views

pre-customer inquiry/ post-customer inquiry

I'm translating titles of paragraphs from Japanese to English. A pragmatic translation of the titles can be: "Before Receiving Inquiries from Potential Customers" and "After Receiving Inquiries from ...
0
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3answers
159 views

Should I use comma, or dashes, or braces here?

Should I enclose 'red and blue' inside comma, or dashes, or braces? He spent several days wandering and collecting flowers (red and blue), and analyzed the results to prove his point. OR ...
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1answer
251 views

Third-party or third party? [duplicate]

Does British English use a dash in between third-party, or is that for American English?
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1answer
109 views

“Problem: solved.” or “Problem, solved.” or “Problem—solved.”

How should one correctly achieve the flow of this short sentence through the use of punctuation? Problem. Solved. In my specific example, I'm writing about how to restore creativity lost to the ...
0
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1answer
157 views

How to know when to use dashes or commas or braces when describing something in the middle of a sentence?

For example, you have a sentence like this: But let’s pluck a word at random from the vocabulary tree: lambaste. Let’s say whenever you encounter this word, the first four letters, l-a-m-b, ...
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3answers
144 views

Comma vs. em-dash

When is it appropriate to use em dashes instead of commas? I have tried commas in this sentence, but it seems too disjointed: I'm going to be here at Zep, just up the road from KO near Howell ...
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2answers
123 views

In June–July 1967? Between June–July 1967?

Which is correct and which is not? In June--July 1967, there were... Between June--July 1967, there were... Between June and July 1967, there were... If I want to use "June--July 1967", how can I ...
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0answers
132 views

Is the usage of this semicolon correct? Should I replace it with a colon or dash?

I am getting ready to have my first tattoo and, as a fairly strict grammarian, I want to make sure that I get it right. I plan for the tattoo to look like the following, but I'm not totally sure about ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Punctuation between clauses when the first clause is a series

I have this sentence: Even if I seem too busy, or you made a mistake, or someone we care about will be upset, or you feel embarrassed, if anything bothers you, I want to know. I believe that ...
19
votes
3answers
10k views

Parentheses vs. double commas vs. dashes to provide additional detail

When do you use commas and when do you use parentheses to provide more detail about something? For example: The suspect, Tom Wilson, is now being charged with murder. The suspect (Tom Wilson) is ...