First time asking a question here. I thought of this sentence just a few moments ago, and I can't figure out how to properly punctuate it so that it conveys the meaning I had intended.

He got a new best friend, [namely] himself"

How would this be punctuated properly? I'm personally leaning towards comma, but maybe semicolon or even full stop is a better idea? Thanks in advance, and sorry about what is probably a fairly simple question.


A comma is the usual choice in this construction. However, if you are looking for some more emphasis, an em-dash would also be appropriate, as it conveys a long pause, but not the end/start of a sentence.

He got a new best friend—himself.

  • 1
    Thank you so much! I especially appreciate the explanation about the em-dash — a capricious form of punctuation I've avoided for long. – guest Mar 23 '20 at 20:25
  • Careful here, there should not be spaces around an em-dash. See Chicago Manual of Style § 6.85. – Felix Jen Mar 23 '20 at 22:07
  • I think a colon might also be appropriate. – Andreas Blass Mar 24 '20 at 3:45
  • Thank you so much you two! In my native language, Norwegian, there is a space before and after the em-dash, hence the confusion. – guest Mar 24 '20 at 14:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.