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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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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96 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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123 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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63 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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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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336 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
98 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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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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184 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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2k 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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87 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
598 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
359 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
176 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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114 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
1k 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 ...
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85 views

Comma usage within dashes

Could someone please explain what rule governs the comma and dash usage. Why is the dash placed after the should. Couldn't the dash be placed after the 'have'? He might – and according to plans, ...
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158 views

How do I use a dash at the end of speech? [duplicate]

How do I use a dash at the end of speech to signify an abrupt change of subject? I understand that when using an em dash, there is no space before or after the dash: George sighed. “There is nothing ...
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2answers
162 views

How to properly organize grammar with complex sentence with dashes? [closed]

Alright, Im writing an APLAC paper and don't know if my word choice and more importantly grammar in the following is correct: I left my residence, embraced teary-eyed peers and entrusted my ...
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71 views

En dashes and shortened year ranges [duplicate]

I understand that typically an en dash ( – ) is used when presenting a range of numbers. For example, when representing a range of years such as "1990 – 2000." My question pertains to instances in ...
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2answers
62 views

Dashes in “st-vertex-cut” or “st-vertex cut”?

People use "vertex-cut" and "vertex cut" where I am unsure whether it should be with dash or without dash. For me, it looks nicest to have "st-vertex-cut" and then "st-vertex-cut set" without dash, ...
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1answer
61 views

How to refer to the collection of horizontal line characters?

Hyphens, dashes, n-dashes, m-dashes, and minus signs all look the same (give or take a pixel). Is there a term for this set of characters?
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63 views

Israel-Turkey or Turkey-Israel ties?

I recall back in college the teacher once noting that there is a rule for that. I've checked google and found both are used. Is there a rule for that?
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1k views

When writing an informal letter, is it advisable to use the em rule at all?

I must point out before explaining my situation that I'm an English learner. However, for this question I need the help of an expert; that's why I'm asking here and not in ELL. When writing an ...
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290 views

Punctuation in a Figure Caption (Abbreviation List)

I have question regarding punctuation in a caption of a figure. Lets say, for example, I have a figure that depicts a certain schematic. In the caption of the figure I want to list all the ...
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4answers
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Em dash and quotes

While I toss up between the em dash and the en dash, I am consistent throughout one document. However, one thing I have noticed when using the em dash is that when I write something like: Firstly, ...
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2answers
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Please Help Me Punctuate This Sentence Correctly [closed]

I'm particularly interested in getting the punctuation correct, and I'd like to keep it all in one sentence. Thanks! Here's the sentence: It allows you to test on multiple browsers, and clicking ...
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1answer
538 views

Using comma to delimit the name of a group and its constituents?

You are probably familiar with this comic which illustrates the possible ambiguity caused by leaving out the Oxford comma: However, this strikes me as plain wrong. I thought comma would not be used ...
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39 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 ...
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1answer
386 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. ...
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2answers
388 views

Why are there multiple kinds of dashes in the English language?

At our writing disposal are a preponderance of short straight lines: Hyphen - En dash – Em dash — minus sign − Horizontal bar ― Figure dash ‒ ...
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324 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 ...
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486 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?
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1answer
189 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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1answer
528 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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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 ...
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981 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: one main (...
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1answer
8k views

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

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?
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182 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, ...
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177 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. ...
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2answers
2k 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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623 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 ...
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395 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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Date Range help!

I have a date range July–September 2015. It doesn't look right. Should it be July–September, 2015? Have you any suggestions, or is it right to begin with?
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1answer
864 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
453 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 usage, ...
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130 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 space, ...
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829 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 ...
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207 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 ...