In the following sentence, how do you understand the en dash?

Our findings are very interesting from an international viewpoint – business tourism.

Is the use of the en dash appropriate here?


By using an en dash, the author of this sentence said he wanted to give just a hint or a summary of what the findings were without having to write too much.

  • Yes, just right. Also, use a comma (for a casual feeling) or a colon (more of a big announcement). – Yosef Baskin Feb 15 '17 at 20:12
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    We do not proofread. If you think there is an issue with the en dash, you can state what issue you feel there is and what has led you to think that. Then, we can either confirm or correct it. But you can't paste in a sentence and say, "Is this right?" – Hank Feb 15 '17 at 21:12

In my estimation, that usage clearly calls for an em dash, not an en dash.

CMOS Online's FAQ re: hyphen, en dash, em dash says:

The en dash connects things that are related to each other by distance, as in the May–September issue of a magazine; it’s not a May-September issue, because June, July, and August are also ostensibly included in this range. (...)

The em dash has several uses. It allows, in a manner similar to parentheses, an additional thought to be added within a sentence by sort of breaking away from that sentence—as I’ve done here. Its use or misuse for this purpose is a matter of taste, and subject to the effect on the writer’s or reader’s “ear.”

(highlighting of the relevant em-dash guideline is mine.)

Similarly, PunctuationMatters.com says


  • Joins numbers in a range, such as “1993–99” or “1200–1400 B.C.”
  • Joins words that describe a range, like “July–October 2010”.


  • Works better than commas to set apart a unique idea from the main clause of a sentence
  • Separates an inserted thought or clause from the main clause

The Grammarist also has something to say on the matter:

Em dashes can replace colons or serve as harder versions of commas (similar to semicolons). While parenthetical em dashes often operate in pairs , hard-comma em dashes often function alone at ends of sentences, for example:

The all-renewable energy sector is 30 years away—and always will be. [Salon]

Your example sentence is identical in structure to the Grammarist's example, and is consistent with the other sites' guidelines for em-dash usage, but not with the guidelines for an em-dash. Thus I say that an em-dash is correct there, and using an en-dash instead would be a mistake.

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  • Wikipedia has 'Usage varies both within English and in other languages, but the usual convention in printed English text is as follows: An em dash (or an en dash) denotes a break in a sentence or to set off parenthetical statements.' Style guide recommendations are just that. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 15 '17 at 22:12

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