Because early comic book letterers were not aware of the typographic convention of replacing a typewritten double hyphen with an em dash, the double hyphen. Dashes and hyphens look really similar, but they have very different functions in writing. English grammar states that an endash should be used, not a hyphen between two years. Its easy to use the hyphen, em dash and en dash also known as n dash and m dash, or ndash and mdash to make your writing flow better. A perfectly nice, wellintentioned rant about hyphens the atlantic.
The dash, slash, ellipses, and brackets tip sheet butte. A hyphen is a standard key on the keyboard of a computer. A hyphen joins two or more words together while a dash separates words into parenthetical statements. Only a very strict grammar pedant would pull you up for using hyphens. The nebula awardwinning author is writing a new book. A hyphen s chief function is to merge two or more separate words. Think of a colon as part of the sentence that just ambles along. See more ideas about teaching, compound words and grammar and punctuation. Therefore, the dash is twice as long as the hyphen. Thousands of childrenlike the girl in this photographhave been left homeless.
And what a hyphen is, its a little stick, like this, as opposed to a dash, which is about twice as long. Identifying how an emdash is used and actually using one in your own writing are two different things, the latter being trickier. Learn details of english grammar on hyphen or dash. Specifically, the en dash is used when signifying a range of numbers or other values. A dash is longer than a hyphen and is commonly used to indicate a range or a pause. Dec 10, 2014 an em dash is used as you indicated in your questionto separate out some information. So, originally when i drawn it, it did look a lot closer. Writers love em dashes as much as hunters love swiss army knives. Em dashes set apart parenthetical phrases or clauses in a sentence. You can use an em dash, en dash or hyphen to separate items in a sentence. Hyphens are used in words prefixed by ex, self, or all, and some words prefixed by cross.
Voiceover so, today were gonna learn about hyphens. Find out when to use dashes and when to use colons with grammar girls tips on dashes versus colons. Dashes, like commas, semicolons, colons, ellipses, and parentheses, indicate added emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt change of thought. But when youre using dashes, generally, you dont put spaces in between them, in between words. Download it once and read it on your kindle device, pc, phones or tablets. One use is for modifiers that contain a compound noun. But, yes, according to to the chicago manual of style that khan academy uses, it would just go word, dash, word, then a space. When should i use an emdash, an endash, and a hyphen. This video is part of our write right student podcast series. However, given that the hyphen is so easy to find on a keyboard, hyphens have become acceptable for ranges.
A colon announces that something special is about to appear. Compound verbs are either hyphenated or appear as one word. In this use, em dashes are similar to commas and parentheses, but there are subtle differences. Learn about punctuation in a simple way with many example sentences using the contents from our english grammar book. Traditionally, the endash is the same width as a letter n in a given typeface, but there are no firm standards memorize the dictionary in 46 minutes. Its not interchangeable with other types of dashes. You are the friend, the only friend, who offered to help me. Difference between dash and hyphen compare the difference. Type these on the computer using the dash key and you will see. If you go to the latest updates to the blue book of grammar and punctuation on our website hyphens, rule 6, you will find that we have included en dashes in the discussion.
Finally, a client asked about the use of the em dash, so i prepared this as an answer and included the hyphen, just to be thorough. It can be helpful, when reading or writing, to think of. Its longer than a hyphen and is commonly used to indicate a range or a pause. It may be used in place of commas, a semicolon, a colon, or parentheses. While we bow to the elegance of the emdash hats off to you, lovely. If you want to use the correct dash or hyphen in stack exchange comments, just use the appropriate html entity. Book titles with hyphens these are book titles and subtitles with hyphens. Although many people call the hyphen a dash, dash refers to another group of horizontal lines in text. If the adjectives come after the noun, then they dont need a hyphen. Hyphens and dashes a hyphen joins two or more words together while a dash separates words into parenthetical statements.
Traditionally, the endash is the same width as a letter n in a given typeface, but there are no firm standards. She explained the differences between dashes well and how writers can. The two are sometimes confused because they look so similar, but their usage is different. Hyphens are used to connect two independent words, so they function as one unit. Mignon fogarty is the founder of quick and dirty tips and the author of seven books on language, including the new. Hyphens versus dashes whats the difference between a hyphen and dash. A handy rule, whether writing about years, months, or any other period of time, is to use hyphens unless the period of time years, months, weeks, days is written in plural form. Mignon fogarty is the founder of quick and dirty tips and the author of seven books on language, including the new york times bestseller grammar girl s quick and dirty tips. It can be used as an appositive explanation or for emphasis. Some say to use the en dash instead of the em dash, while others go so far as to advocate using the hyphen, advice that would lead to confusion for readers, as we have noted above. Difference between hyphen and dash difference between. A hyphen is a punctuation mark thats used to join words or parts of words. An emdash is typically used as a standin for a comma or parenthesis to separate out phrasesor even just a wordin a.
The dash is used to set off additional material within a sentence, often in order to emphasize it, to set off appositives that contain commas, or to indicate missing words. Informally, they separate comments that stray from the central idea of the sentence. Dash and hyphen are different punctuation marks that are in the form of small straight lines, which makes it difficult to differentiate between these two different forms of punctuation marks. Note how dashes subtly change the tone of the following sentences. Mastering hyphens and dashes invisible ink editing.
The hyphen is traditionally regarded as a poor substitute for the dash, but given the relative ease of typing the hyphen, its use in lieu of the dash seems to be on the rise, and many see nothing wrong in it. First, hyphens must never be used interchangeably with dashes see the dashes section. Hyphens generally, hyphens are used to join two words or parts of words together while avoiding confusion or. Apr 24, 2009 the difference between a colon and a dash is pretty subtle.
Like a caesura a timely pause in music, a dash indicates a strong pause, then gives emphasis to material following the pause. The em dash is used to separate a thought in a sentence. A hyphen has its own special use to be talked about in a later column. Use endash instead of hyphen in license between years by. Affect versus effect quick and dirty tips editing writing. Jan 01, 2008 to the delight of word nerds everywhere, grammar girl s quick and dirty tips for better writing came out yesterday. If you find yourself wanting to throw in a little extra information about a noun in a particular.
Experienced writers know that these marks are not interchangeable. Jun 02, 2009 if you go to the latest updates to the blue book of grammar and punctuation on our website hyphens, rule 6, you will find that we have included en dashes in the discussion. Sep, 2011 a colon announces that something special is about to appear. Grammar girls quick and dirty tips for better writing book. But lets say we had a sentence like, her hair was yellow green were her eyes. Dash a dash is used to indicate a break or a pause in the sentence. Hyphens are not separated by spaces, while a dash has a space on either side. Family projects business global events books fiction newsletters.
Lets look at examples of dashes, the rules for using the en dash, and compare how dashes are used in writing. Depending on the sentence, the emdash can have a similar function to parentheses, colons, commas, and even semicolons. Sep 15, 2016 it can add a spiceor a dash, if you willto a sentence by adding emphasis to certain words and phrases. Mr bruffs guide to gcse english language mr bruffs guide to gcse english literature. First, hyphens must never be used interchangeably with dashes see the dashes section, which are noticeably longer. To a casual observer, both a dash as well as a hyphen are short, horizontal lines that are used to connect words or numbers in a piece of text but to someone who is a writer the.
A dash is a little horizontal line that floats in the middle of a line of text not at the bottom. Dont replace the second emdash as some tend to with a comma or semicolon. The en dash is a bit shorter than the em dash and serves a vastly different purpose when it comes to punctuation rules. How to use the hyphen, en dash and em dash ndash mdash, n.
The nebulaawardwinning author is writing a new book. Apr 03, 2018 aps rationale is that retaining the hyphen in compound modifiers after the noun helps avoid confusion. But it is far too strong to use words like incorrect and error for spans that are stated with hyphens. May 16, 2019 en dashes act like a very powerful hyphen. The hyphen is, of course, directly on your keyboard. It is the indispensable reference for writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers, informing the editorial canon with sound, definitive advice. The dash functions almost as a colon does in that it adds to the preceding material, but with extra emphasis. She is an inductee in the podcasting hall of fame, and the show is a fivetime winner of best education podcast in the podcast awards. Squiggly has two hobbies and, now im going to tell you what they are, colon cooking. The dash and the hyphen are like arnold schwarzenegger and danny devito.
In truth, you could use a hyphen the key to the right of the 0 every time and only the strictest of grammar pedants would highlight that your hyphen ought to have been a dash. An em dash is longer than an en dash and three times as long as a hyphen. If you have grammar topics youd like to see covered, please leave a comment about it. Dashes versus colons grammar girl quick and dirty tips. Thank you so much grammar girl my investment in your book has. This essay introduces the basics of hyphens, minus signs, en dashes, and em dashes in one easy lesson there are at least eight different horizontal dashlike characters of varying lengths defined in unicode. Its all about how your sentence feels in the moment, with or without the em.
For example, in the phrase nicelooking house, the hyphen combines two words, nice and looking, into one compound adjective. The en dash signals that more words than one are linked with the other part of the modifier. Mignon fogarty is the founder of quick and dirty tips and the author of seven books on language, including the new york times bestseller grammar girl s quick and dirty tips for better writing. Aps rationale is that retaining the hyphen in compound modifiers after the noun helps avoid confusion. Hyphens are often used to tell the ages of people and things. Daily grammar lesson 421 mechanics punctuation hyphens. Each time that we speak, in order to convey a particular thought or idea, there are certain times that we would stop or pause. Heres a good strategy to use when trying to decide whether to use emdashes or parentheses in your writing. I am talking about the emdash, which looks like two hyphens connected into one long line. Generally, hyphens are used to join two words or parts of words together. More podcasts, including audio ones can be found on our website at writingcenter.
Grammar girls quick and dirty tips for better writing by mignon. The dash, slash, ellipses, and brackets are marks that serve specific purposes as indicated below. It is useful and versatile, and too few writers make use of it. Britishcanadian style guides seem wildly inconsistent on the issue of the em and en dash.
You know, and so were still separating the words yellow and green with a stick, but a dash is longer, and instead of uniting yellowgreen, its separating them the way that you know, a semicolon might. Dashes are used to separate groups of words, not to separate parts of words like a hyphen does. The em dash is the jackofalltrades of the punctuation family. The threehyphen em dash proxy was popular with various publishers because the sequence of one, two, or three hyphens could then correspond to the hyphen, en dash, and em dash, respectively. But like these two fine actors, the dash and the hyphen are not the same, no sireee. The chicago manual of style online is the venerable, timetested guide to style, usage, and grammar in an accessible online format. It can be helpful, when reading or writing, to think of the word to when you see or use an en dash. It is used to emphasize a word or set of words in the sentence. Jun 15, 2010 this video is part of our write right student podcast series. Plus, grammar girl provides some impressions on how hyphens can. So when should you use an em dash instead of these other forms of punctuation.
If you are uncertain how to insert an en dash symbol, you can use a hyphen instead. The most common types of dashes are the en dash and the em dash. Grammar girls quick and dirty tips for better writing by. They come before the noun or pronoun they modify except for the predicate adjective which comes after a linking verb and. Sometimes confused with the hyphen, a dash comes between words as a form of division, whereas a hyphen generally joins words or parts of words to indicate a. In general, the use of the em dash to provide additional information is used when the information is surprising, or the writer wants to give it more emphasis. See details about hyphens vs dashes rules explanations. A hyphen is usually very short it has its own unicode character, but you can use the hyphenminus instead because it looks the same, a minus is of the same width as the decimal digits and is sometimes a little bit higher than the others, an endash takes approximately the width of the letter n or n, and an emdash takes. Mignon fogarty, aka, the grammar girl, does point out that hyphens tend to. Hyphens grammar and punctuation the blue book of grammar.
Emdash an emdash is typically used as a standin for a comma or parenthesis to separate out phrasesor even just a wordin a sentence for various reasons i. Grammar girl s quick and dirty tips for better writing book. And people confuse them a lot, but they have very different functions. The three hyphen em dash proxy was popular with various publishers because the sequence of one, two, or three hyphens could then correspond to the hyphen, en dash, and em dash, respectively. Dashes set off loosely related comments and sudden breaks in thought. This is to make sure that the person that we are speaking to understands us. I recommend this to anyone who writes fiction or nonfiction books or articles. The em dash and the hyphen are not the same thing at all. Compound adjectives are two or more words that together make an adjective. The same thing is true when we convey our thoughts and ideas in a written form. Use a hyphen in compounds made up of two or more words used as an adjective adjectives modify or affect the meaning of nouns and pronouns and tell us which, whose, what kind, and how many about the nouns or pronouns they modify. It is used to indicate a range of values or a relationship between values.959 892 511 238 842 100 213 109 1019 854 1494 255 1597 75 966 415 1541 134 1284 1517 755 357 1557 880 104 249 1553 1133 717 697 1226 1501 1164 838 1256 1325 1537 1425 218 601 400 769 1406 1326 1416 649 954 1463