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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Author - Title vs Title - Author when referring to a work [closed]

Is there a convention on whether to place the title of a work or the author of a work first when referring to the work? I'm thinking mostly for titling notes/files on the work, or for categorizing ...
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Em dash to introduce a quote

Is it fine to introduce a direct quote with an em dash? I want to briefly summarise a quote, while still giving it in full. Something like: However, Smith (2021) argued that foo can in fact improve ...
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—Beginning Sentences with a Dash

One thing that has always perplexed me while reading philosophy is the odd use of punctuation. — Namely, the use of em dashes to begin a sentence. I find this most prevalent in Hegel and Wittgenstein ...
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Should machine-stitch and hand-baste as verbs have a dash?

I'm wondering if anyone knows the correct way to write the following compound verbs: machine-stitch and hand baste? I found that machine-stitch as a verb has a dash, logic would tell that hand-baste ...
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What should I use for formal writing in this situation, a dash or something else?

Is the use of a dash appropriate here? "This causes everyone to lose the ability to dream -- everyone except for IP."
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How can I use a dash to interrupt a quote with an action?

A few times recently I've wanted to interrupt a line of dialogue with a non-dialogue interjection. Here are some examples. Alice argued: "Nobody knows what happened to the eggs last night. ...
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Hyphen and en dash usage in adjectives such as "human–animal"

I noticed a possible editorial error in Nature magazine concerning this. These two headlines here and here use en dashes and hyphens for the adjectives "human–animal" and "human-animal&...
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What is the effect of using dashes between each word in a sentence?

In The Bluest Eye, there is a quote: Grown people frowned and fussed: 'You-don’t-know- how-to-take-care-of-nothing. I-never-had-a-baby-doll-in-my-whole-life-and-used-to-cry-my-eyes-out-for-them. Now-...
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N-times differentiable function should go with hyphen? [duplicate]

Suppose that I would like to say "Let f(x) be an N-times differentiable function." Should it be "N-times" or "N times", and why?
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Is the em dash appropriate in place of a comma?

I am trying to learn the rules for the em dash. My colleagues and I were having an argument about this. One wrote this sentence for his students We have just derived a fundamental trigonometric ...
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Em dash next to displayed equation

I want to use an em dash to set off a parenthetical text for emphasis. However, the text in question is adjacent to a displayed mathematical formula. What is the proper way to do so? I am aware that ...
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Is it correct to replace dashes with hyphens and how should it be done?

I often see sentences like this--made when people don't have the care or ability to input the correct character--where two hyphens are supposed to form an em-dash. Based on the sizes of various dashes,...
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Can I use a dash to replace a repeating verb?

In my language (Bulgarian) you can use a dash to replace a verb that you have already used in the same sentence. For example: The distance from London to Paris is 500km, from Paris to Munich — 850km, ...
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Dashes to provide parenthetical information to an item in list - example from BBC?

Quoting the BBC website at https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-51047186 It was understood the couple would continue to receive money for a time from Harry's father under the new agreement, although ...
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What does the use of a double em dash signifiy?

When watching The Man who Laughs (1928), at 40:14 the line, also pictured below, "Hey — — we saw her first!" appears. What does the use of a double em-dash signify here?
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Which is better here, colon or dash?

Their style favors texture and timbre over more familiar and comforting musical elements; there is no beat, melody, or rhythm – only techno-cacophony. Can I switch the dash for a colon, like this? ...
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Can you use a dash to separate two complete sentences?

The term was from her party days - she always looked for a way to incorporate party slang into our lives. Should there be a dash there?
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Does the em dash take precedence over the comma?

In a sentence like: While I would love to do A, I cannot wait to do B. If I add a set-off clause right before the comma, which of these is correct? While I would love to do A—for reasons X—I cannot ...
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'Without so much as a call or a letter – he showed up.' Is this grammatically correct?

Is the sentence below grammatically correct? Without so much as a call or a letter – he showed up. I know that dashes can be used to emphasize parenthetical information, but I feel as though the ...
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Should I use a suspended hyphen here? "A group of five-to-nine-year-olds did it," or a "A group of five- to nine-year-olds did it"?

The title pretty much sums it up. Which of the following sentences is correct? "A group of five-to-nine-year-olds did it." "A group of five- to nine-year-olds did it." Moreover, ...
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How to explain punctuation in these 3 cases?

I had a test task for the position of freelance writer for sewing website. I did the writing part, but they asked me to explain some points in my text. How can I prove punctuation in a), b) and c) ...
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Using an en dash to separate a page and line range

When writing a range of pages and line numbers, would I use an en dash to separate the range, or is it more appropriate to use "through" in this situation? Refer to page 12, line 3–page 13, ...
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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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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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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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'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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How to write a dash

My teacher wants us to write essays with "MLA formatting," and I was wondering whether a dash should be written in MLA as two keyboard "minus signs" aka hyphens (--) or use the actual special ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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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1 answer
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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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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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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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Student t-distribution: why the dash [sic, EA; hyphen]

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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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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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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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1 answer
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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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2 votes
3 answers
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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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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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3 answers
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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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1 answer
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Comma vs. Em Dash

Which of the following two versions is preferable, and why: This document applies to all systems, people, and processes that constitute the organization’s information systems, including board members,...
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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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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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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