Questions tagged [dashes]

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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2answers
26 views

What does “such as they were” mean?

In this sentence: She did not want to meet Lettuce. That was a rare feeling for her; she would usually never avoid anybody, but Lettuce was somehow different. Was it just dislike, or was it ...
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30 views

When to use em dashes in place of commas

To minimize transmission—which mainly occurs through the inhalation of infected droplets, many countries have enacted nationwide lockdowns, closing all but ‘essential’ businesses and putting most ...
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27 views

What is the correct way to punctuate a sentence with a laughter interjection?

I would like to know your thoughts on how to correctly punctuate this sentence: When people comment how sipag or consistent I am working out during this time, I shrug it off because a. I don’t take ...
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35 views

'Machine learning or robotics related' hyphenation?

How should 'Machine learning or robotics related technologies' be hyphenated? Machine learning[en dash] or robotics[hyphen]related technologies?
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1answer
82 views

Can I use an en dash with spaces instead of an em dash? [closed]

Most typography has em dashes extremely long, and people use it without spaces most of the time. It's not a comfy layout. Can I use an en dash with spaces surrounding it? For instance, foo – bar ...
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61 views

colon or dash? punctuation

Please suggest the correct punctuation at points 1, 2 and 3 in the following sentence: If you had to write an article, for example, reporting on events in any institution which cares for people (...
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1answer
56 views

Do the words “en dash” and “em dash” require a hyphen? [duplicate]

I have seen the compound words "en dash" and "em dash" sometimes appear with a hyphen ("en-dash") and sometimes without. Are both the hyphenated and the unhyphenated forms correct?
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63 views

punctuation: the 20 to 30 year old age group

I'd like to know how "the 20 to 30 year old age group" is punctuated in standard English. "30-year-old" should be hyphenated. What about "20 to 30"? Any principles at work? I'd appreciate your help.
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1answer
59 views

What do you do with a comma that would come after a dash?

One common use of em dashes is to offset parenthetical phrases. But if a comma outside the parenthetical phrase immediately follows the parenthetical, what do you do with the comma? I realize that ...
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1answer
240 views

Why are place names in some old books a capital letter followed by dashes, and what is this phenomenon called?

This is something very odd I have noticed in some older books, most recently in "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoyevsky. Place names, when not specifically essential or well-known, are made up of one ...
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1answer
2k views

In British English, which is more common — the em dash or the en dash?

I'm reasonably certain the em dash is more common than the en dash in American English. But which of the two is more common in British English?
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1answer
137 views

Dictating hyphen or dash over the phone

How should I dictate hyphen in email address or url over the phone ? My email is gabriel hyphen glenn at gmail dot com My email is gabriel dash glenn at gmail dot com
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1answer
45 views

What punctuation should you use after a list?

What punctuation should you use after a list and before describing the list? In the example below, what should I use where I have used a dash? Or is the dash correct? "Some examples of Apple’s ...
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1answer
45 views

Do I use a dash or a semicolon here, or something else entirely?

Is it "In other words, you can compare my existence in the dating world with living in the Sahara--bone dry with the occasional oasis appearing" or "In other words, you can compare my existence in ...
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1answer
86 views

Is the folllowing sentence correctly punctuated?

Could someone please tell me if I've correctly punctuated the following sentence (specifically, if I've correctly used the dash and commas highlighted bloew)? Also, is the period at the end of the ...
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1answer
38 views

Use of comma before the words “irregardless”, “where” and after a period in time

I'm unsure as to whether or not to include a comma within the two sentences outlined below (I've bolded the specific sections). In the first sentence, I have a feeling a dash might be more appropriate....
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1answer
43 views

Student t-distribution: why the dash

In statistics, the t-distribution is important. It is an approximation to the normal distribution. Of course we don't say "normal-distribution" (with the dash). Well then, what exactly is the ...
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1answer
496 views

Dashes in lists

As a mathematician I often have to explain the notation in my writing. For example, I write: "F denotes my favourite function, A - a beautiful set and K - an important kernel." Should I use dashes ...
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1answer
163 views

Dash after the prefix “non”

Is the hyphen that we often see in words such as "non-zero", "non-trivial", etc. optional? In case the answer is negative, is there any rule of thumb on which one may rely in order to recall when ...
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2answers
66 views

from [time]-[time]

I see people using expressions such as "join us from 10am-2pm on January 3" or "we are going from January-May." Should "from" be there since there is no "until" or "to"?
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1answer
1k views

Which do you read x' as dash or prime?

In Japan, it is occasionally said that x' should be read as eks-prime in mathematical contexts. However, there are several cases to read eks-dash. In addition, a person says that eks-dash was ...
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3answers
773 views

Should I use a hyphen, an en dash, or an em dash to define or introduce a word? [closed]

I have looked up online and studied usages for the hyphen, en dash, and em dash. I still haven't found an answer if I can define words with a dash in English. The backstory on dashes defining ...
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2answers
101 views

Is it acceptable to place a comma after the em-dash in this sentence? [duplicate]

Due to financial struggles brought on by marital struggles—or perhaps it was the other way around—, the family had to forsake it as the bank foreclosed on it. I normally wouldn't place a comma, but ...
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3answers
80 views

How would one correctly place punctuation marks in this sentence?

Moth-like, the people buzzed about: walking, driving, directing— each to their own light. I'm not sure whether each comma, colon, dash and hyphen are used correctly here. Please help! Also, this ...
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1answer
50 views

Colons vs Em dash ?

The designer envisions the game’s fundamental elements: the settings, characters, and plots that make each game unique, and is thus a primary creative force behind a video game. A) NO CHANGE B) ...
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What should I use when introducing dialogue, hyphens, en-dashes or em-dashes? [closed]

I have always use the hyphen when introducing dialogue. -I love skating, but I'm not very good at it. But I have recently been educated about the existence and use of en/em dashes. Now, I think I ...
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2answers
178 views

Should we use an em dash, en dash, or semi-colon

A sentence is causing some discussion in the office - it's about a Nylon product. We are not sure if we should use an en-dash, em-dash, semi-colon, or something else entirely. I thought an em-dash was ...
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1answer
740 views

Usage of en dash in a CV

I write the date in my résumé in the following format: 7/2017–present 4/2015–6/2017 8/2010–3/2015 Is this the right way to do it? I am asking because I also saw the following notation: 7/2017 – ...
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2answers
68 views

I tend to overuse the hyphen as a pause, and would appreciate some feedback on this [duplicate]

An example of the way I tend to use the hyphen would be: Some people are genetically predisposed to build muscle - I am not one of them. I usually do this more often when I am in a hurry. Still, I ...
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0answers
36 views

How is a dash used in English [duplicate]

Is a dash used between words in word combinations like fill up? Or is it fill-up?
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1answer
133 views

(un)conditional or (un-)conditional?

I want to write "conditional (mean imputation)" and "unconditional (mean imputation)" shorter, which of these 4 is the best way to do that? If multiple ways are correct, which is the most common (in ...
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3answers
4k views

Is the em dash used in formal writing?

Is it valid to use em dashes in formal writing? My teacher said it's informal to use em dashes under any circumstances, so I just wanted to make sure. I've gone through several related questions in ...
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2answers
1k views

em dashes and question marks

Would it be correct to use the question mark as it is written in the following sentence? "If your cousin invites you to visit—and why would he not?—I will expect your return after only nine days."
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1answer
78 views

How are dashes used when referring to the work of someone? [closed]

Example: [Artist] - [Song] Is that little line supposed to be a hyphen, non-breaking hyphen, figure-/en-/em-dash, horizontal bar, minus sign or double oblique hyphen? Are there supposed to be spaces ...
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1answer
81 views

the usage of dashes before relative pronouns [closed]

I came across these two sentences: Today, his sculptures – which spin, tilt, and sway – belong to collections worldwide. Today, his sculptures – spin, tilt, and sway – belong to collections ...
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121 views

Specific Semicolon vs. Dash Case

and thanks for taking the time to read my question. I was writing an essay not too long ago, and I ended up writing a sentence that goes like this: As people convert to higher-paid jobs the birth ...
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1answer
62 views

Sentence Structure (linking)

In saying: There are a lot of benefits for the new model of transportation, the Smartcopter. How do I name the model of transportation as the Smartcopter in one sentence as shown in the example ...
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1answer
31 views

Can I make minor typographical corrections to a title in citations? [closed]

Let's say I need to cite a website or printed report with the title: Broccoli production in Ruritania, 1990-2010 with a hyphen in "1990-2010." In English typography, though, the standard indicator ...
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1answer
278 views

Is it correct to say “inter- disciplinary/national” instead of “interdisciplinary and international”?

I'm trying to be more concise with my words. Does writing "inter- disciplinary/national" to describe to my educational background make sense? If not, what's a good alternative?
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36 views

How to punctuate interrupted dialogue [duplicate]

What is the best way to punctuate interrupted dialogue? I have seen it done like this, but I am not sure if it is correct. "In my opinion the best w--" "Nobody is interested in your opinion," Fred ...
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1answer
97 views

What do these sentences from “When Dinosaurs Roamed North Dakota” mean? [closed]

[W]e passed rolling hills with emerald green grass, farmhouses dotting acres of fields and wild, rocky landscapes. (Hillary Richard, "When Dinosaurs Roamed North Dakota", New York Times) I ...
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2answers
2k views

Semicolon followed by a dash;—What is it?

I see repeated use in numerous 19th printed texts and manuscripts, both British and American, of a semi-colon followed by an em dash. It is clearly a punctuation device that was used frequently in ...
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1answer
155 views

Necessary punctuation in sentence

There was a sentence in a released* ACT test a while back. This was the sentence. "I ride this trail nearly everyday - not on a bike, but on 'Luigi'." It seems to me that the interior punctuation is ...
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1answer
1k views

The Em Dash: Afterthought or Added Emphasis?

Whenever I read a piece of writing that includes an em dash, I'm unsure wether to read it as an afterthought or added emphasis. Here's two examples I made: The em dash being used as an afterthought: ...
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1answer
86 views

Serial Punctuation in multiple complex clauses, with references

I am trying to edit an academic paper, with a complex sentence which includes an interpolation within em dashes. The interpolation terminates with a reference in brackets, and is also the first item ...
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2answers
596 views

are the days of using dashes over?

I ran into a sentence which I would like to share in here to prepare the context for my question. "it was shown that TBT, HBT, and HSDT1 have the same results in order to derive fundamental ...
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1answer
349 views

Is this use of en dash legitimate? [duplicate]

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? ...
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2answers
141 views

Slashes and en-dash inside parentheses [closed]

Is the usage of slashes, en-dash, and parentheses in the following line OK? Objective: Working as a translator (English/Spanish/Portuguese–Arabic) *It's part of a resume. Thank you for your ...
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1answer
112 views

Correct grammar / style for segments that share the same (lengthy) prepositional object

I'm having trouble with a sentence that uses two (or more) prepositional phrases, which share the same prepositional object. For example, I would like to turn these two statements: A main theme in ...
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1answer
920 views

What dash should be used for attribution of authorship? [duplicate]

Say I want to mention an author and their work, i.e. The Beatles—Abbey Road or Herman Melville—Moby Dick, which dash should go betwixt the two? This question has been marked as a possible duplicate ...