Questions tagged [em-dash]

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Why does the Oxford University Style Guide advise against using `em-dash`? [closed]

I have come across several sources that outline the usage of em-dash (eg Grammarly, Cambridge University Editorial style guide, English SE etc.), all of which say that em-dash may be used in-place of ...
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2 answers
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Comma before "whether they be"

I have the following sentence: If your school doesn't offer AP courses, we recommend that you take the most challenging courses you can⁠—whether they be honors, IB, or even dual enrollment courses. ...
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1 answer
40 views

Semicolon vs em-dash in response thanking someone for help

I want to thank someone for helping me. I am trying to decide which of these is more appropriate: Thanks for the clarification; that was helpful. Thanks for the clarification – that was helpful. ...
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16 views

Using a colon and em dash in informal writing

I was wondering if the placement of the colon and dash in the following sentence is correct: I can't thank you enough for all you have done for me: paying my rent, taking me shopping, giving me rides ...
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1 answer
48 views

Is it acceptable to combine em dashes with parentheses?

Specifically, can I write something like "—(x)—"? For example, I thought x—(which was y)—so z.
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Can em dash be used to define and give more info about a subject? [closed]

Can I use an em dash to embellish the last word of the original thought? Examples: I spent my career driving a Ford F-150—the most reliable truck ever produced! The new method is setup for autonomous ...
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Can an em-dash function as both an opener to its own parenthetical and simultaneously close a nonrestrictive clause introduced by a comma?

I've read that you are not supposed to include a comma before 'in which', since it is part of a restrictive clause linked to a noun. If you do put a comma before it, it is to render it part of a ...
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3 answers
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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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2 votes
1 answer
51 views

Are such sentence constructions acceptable?

The structure of the following sentence struck me as odd. So large was his mouth that he could fit his entire fist inside—an antic that drew hysterical laughter at drinking bouts during the bloody ...
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52 views

Can you replace an em-dash with a comma?

If I were to say something like This is something that is revolutionary—that will redefine our society. Can you use a comma instead of an em dash? In all cases? What are the rules?
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1 answer
71 views

Can em dashes be used to introduce a dependent clause?

Consider the following sentence from WSJ: And so, like the dutiful and efficient worker I was, I’d put my energy into clearing the decks, cranking through the smaller stuff to get it out of the way—...
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2 votes
1 answer
43 views

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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1 answer
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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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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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Comma needed using and em-dash paranthetical within a list?

What's the correct use of an em-dash within a comma-separated list? E.g. is, "Tom only likes four colours: red, blue—although he's on the fence—, green, and yellow" correct or is, "Tom ...
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1 vote
1 answer
88 views

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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colon followed by a question

I did some search on the Internet but am unable to get clarity on this. SET 1 Which of the following is correct? A) Have you: Ever purchased a blue car? Ever visited Hong Kong? Ever gone on a long ...
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Capitals after mdash

I would like to know if, in British English, if there is a question after emdash, do I need to start the question with a capital? for example —Do you know what this means? Also, what about a general ...
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Em dash in British English

I am using em dashes and writing in British English. I would like to know if I should put spaces both before and after the em dash.
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1 answer
109 views

Which Punctuation Mark Should Be Used To Show Repetition?

Is it okay to use an em-dash if I want to show repetition of word/words or phrase in a sentence? I told you ― I told you to put on a different voice.
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3 votes
2 answers
339 views

What is the best way to punctuate titles that have subtitles with subtitles?

I am going through a few movies and I see Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions. Are that many colons appropriate? I am inclined to use em-dashes for the next subtitle, leading to Pokémon: Zoroark — ...
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em-dash or semicolon for this case? [closed]

I am trying to decide whether the semicolon or em-dash is the more appropriate punctuation mark in this case: It's not that I don't care -- it's just that I'm busy with other things. It's not that I ...
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1 vote
0 answers
27 views

Colon, Semicolon, or Em-dash

Which of the following three are correct? I would recommend reading the footnotes wherever indicated: they're quite informative. I would recommend reading the footnotes wherever indicated; they're ...
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0 votes
1 answer
181 views

Can an em dash be inserted in the middle of a quotation for interjection?

I've found questions asking about an em dash in quoted speech, and punctuation rules for em dashes in quotes, but this question is quite different. The example I saw comes from a tweet, reproduced ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Punctuating dialogue interrupted by speaker?

When a speaker briefly interrupts their own dialogue, then resumes in the same paragraph, how do you punctuate the interruption? I know that, when it doesn't halt speech (i.e. dashes outside quotes), ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Use of em dash to separate different speakers in a quotation(s)

Suppose there are three characters, each saying something different outside of a room and you are listening to them from inside of the room. What is the correct way to punctuate the following using em ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Can I use "such as" after em-dash?

Example: So you might need help from various resources—such as parents, classmates, school administrators, and so on. Or should I write: So you might need help from various resources—parents, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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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47 views

A semicolon or an em dash? [duplicate]

"Hediger acquired a drone after losing half of her harvest in one year to weeds. She estimates that identifying problems faster with timely crop data and using less weed killer will save her tens of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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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1 vote
1 answer
60 views

The em dash, and correct usage in the sentence that follows [duplicate]

As I walked through the channel — I knew it was over. Is this a correct usage of the em dash?
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0 votes
1 answer
76 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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1 vote
1 answer
169 views

Using punctuation within a question to create a pause

Is it possible to create a long pause (confusion) in the following question. 'You're maybe wondering how could that be. That she is considering running away?' Between 'be and that', I was ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
459 views

Where and how should I place the punctuation marks in this sentence?

[James] Iris did not have a job—unless panhandling could be considered one—in which case, he was wholly employed. How would you place and/or rearrange the punctuation marks in this sentence? I've ...
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3 votes
1 answer
978 views

using comma within the appositive

If you have a list of items separated by commas, can it be used as an appositive if you separate it from the rest of the sentence by yet another by comma? Here's an example: The factory produces ...
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2 votes
3 answers
2k 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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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1 vote
3 answers
100 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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1 vote
1 answer
156 views

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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1 answer
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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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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Mixing em-dash and comma

My current understanding of the em-dash is that it can be used in place of parentheses or commas to provide emphasis, e.g. "Tom, who was a very nice person, walked slowly across the grass." "Tom (...
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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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1 vote
2 answers
215 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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1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Punctuation confusion, commas, semicolons, and em dashes

I'm having a hard time trying to punctuate the following sentence. I have it using just commas right now, but I do not think that is right. On Earth they see the Sun every day, it’s always there, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
3k 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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107 views

Em dash and list of things [duplicate]

I've searched everywhere before asking this question but I couldn't find an answer to my specific question: "In spite of all the problems in life—lack of education, poverty, unemployment— John always ...
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0 votes
1 answer
403 views

Question marks and multiple clauses between em dashes? Capitalization?

Suppose a sentence like this: The same museum guard I foiled last month was stomping over. Evidently, something about my disguise didn't pass muster — maybe it was the wig — but I managed to cut a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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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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0 votes
0 answers
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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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0 answers
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Hyphenation Query (Compound words hyphenated alongside adjectival phrases?) [duplicate]

Not sure if I've correctly titled this query; my grammatical lexicon is severely wanting. The phrase in question is from a short story, and is as follows: "More likely a second—floor-apartment ...
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