Dashes

By Luis, Susy & Keziah

What is a Dash?

A dash is a little line that is written in the middle of the line. It’s longer than a hyphen. Dashes are used to separate groups of words, not to separate parts of words like a hyphen does.


The Three Formats for Dashes

There are three formats for dashes: em, en, and the double hyphen. If you’re writing on a computer, the font you've chosen will automatically take care of the issue for you. If you’re writing by hand or on a typewriter, the em dash is longer (the width of the letter m) and is used between words; the en dash is a little shorter (the width of the letter n) and is used between numbers like forty-four; the double hyphen is used on typewriters or with computer fonts which don’t have a dash key.


Sentences using the three formats for Dashes

We waited for the bus — in the cold, driving rain — for almost an hour.

This sentence uses em dashes.


We waited for the bus -- in the cold, driving rain -- for almost an hour.

This sentence uses the double hyphens, but we’d only use them if we were writing on a machine which didn't have an em dash. Even when handwriting, an em dash is naturally used.

Can you count out twenty-six dollars, please?

This sentence uses an en dash.


Big image
Big image