What is the difference between Em Dash and En Dash? We use it most commonly to combine words and to separate numbers that are not inclusive for example in phone numbers. Correct: In Crete, the springtime temperatures vary between 45 and 70 degrees. A 3-em dash followed by a period is a useful shortcut in bibliographies and reference lists when there are multiple texts by the same author. When the neighborhood women—including my mother and my aunt Gracie—get together for coffee and cake, I’m always convinced they’re talking about me. Commas are commonly used to offset an appositive (a small section of extra information that is added to a sentence for clarification). Right: General MacArthur was Field Marshall of the Philippine Army from 1935 to 1937. Incorrect: Brian eats between 6–7 sweets per day. Has anyone seen my—wait, what was I looking for? For this, we use an em dash on either side of the parenthetical information. Regardless of the rules, you can always hyphenate two words if it will avoid confusion. Prepare for your brain to grow…the arrival of new grammar knowledge is now imminent! For example, in Google Docs, you can make any shortcuts you like by going to Tools and then Preferences. Example: There was a lot of conflict in the post–war crisis. A different exception is with a hanging hyphen, for example, the word “nineteenth” in the phrase “nineteenth- and twentieth-century. If your PC has a number pad, you have two options. The message was so smudged that this was all I could make out: “If you d——, yo—— see H——. I don’t care what you think you overheard. You will find this covered in chapters 8–12. It is used between numbers to represent the word to. 2.2. In a perfect world, all keyboards will have em dash and en dash keys, and life will be easy peasy. En dashes connect two elements that are at either end of a range—for example, temperatures, times, dates, or page numbers. Her New York–style studio apartment had great wood floors and no closets. The em dash is a dash that can be used instead of parentheses, commas, colons, or quotation marks in a sentence. Here you go: The em dash is already so darned versatile that it’s no wonder that when two or three of them get together, they serve even MORE useful functions. Repeat listings by that same author feature a 3-em dash rather than the author’s name again. It is commonly used when writing date ranges were it means up to and including. Wrong: The happiest years of the partnership were undoubtedly between 2010–2013. By definition, a hanging hyphen will have a space after it but not before it. The em dash is named after its length—it’s about the same width as the capital letter M. The use of dashes is massive in writing– regardless of how ‘professional’ the writers are. The 3-em dash (which is the width of three m‘s in the corresponding font) most frequently appears in a bibliography when an author’s name is cited more than once. Using em dashes instead of parentheses puts the focus on the information between the em dashes. hyphens for words that are formed by two nouns. The most common en dash mistake is using dashes when you’ve already opened with a range-defining word like between or from—that is, a word that does the same job. Example: Mr. G—— was arraigned in court yesterday while the defendant ——— was not present. It is clear to everyone that m has a thickness double that of n. • Em dash is used to give pause or long break in a sentence. We can use hyphens for words that are formed by two nouns. Here is an example of how a 3-em dash would appear in a bibliography. The answer to both questions is yes—so long as you use them deliberately and sparingly. Copyright © 2020 Elite Editing. Michael , could you —Casper get away from the water—Michael, could you please bring the bread? In addition to classroom and online teaching experience, Matt has written hundreds of lessons and articles about English with an emphasis on ESL learners. Everyone knows that i.e. The em dash can also be used to interpolate a comment midsentence or to signal an interruption. Or perhaps you’re uninterested in the uninterested…, Sign up to receive exclusive offers and updates, Elite Editing is based in New York, NY, and provides professional proofreading, editing, and writing services for students, writers, businesses, ESL, academics, website creators, and others. In fact, using dashes correctly can really show off your writing skills and knowledge of the finer points of English grammar. It is also used when writing time, dates and book pages to mean “up to and including”. Fun fact: the en dash is the width of the letter “N”, while the em dash is the width of the letter “M”. (Both the numbers and the minus sign in the below examples must be on the number pad, or these shortcuts won’t work. When these extra helpings of information appear midsentence, em dashes should be used as a pair, one on either side of the insertion. New York: Scholastic, 1999. Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) was marked by long and tight dresses for women. ), Em dash (—): Alt + 0151 or Ctrl + Alt + minus. (It is, in fact, the width of a typesetter’s letter “N,” whereas the em dash is the width of the letter “M”—thus their names.) All your dash questions are about to be answered. It gets its name from the letter N on the keyboard as its width is same as that of small n on the keyboard. I love only one person—you. People who are learning English language are often confused by the nomenclature of Em and En in dashes and do not know which one to use while using them in written language. Here’s how to use a 2-em dash and a 3-em dash. Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms. You can offset it with the em dash instead, on either side of the appositive. This dash has a length equal to the width of the letter M thus being called an Em dash. The thing to remember is that no spaces are to be given before and after the Em dash in written language. The man known as the “Penman of the Revolution” was not Thomas Jefferson but rather John Dickinson—one of the least-famous Founding Fathers. In fact, there are many who do not know the difference between Em dash and En dash and, therefore, make mistakes while writing English text. I want to be a lumberjack!”. The words—who, what, when, where, why and how—are used to ask questions. The en dashes can be used to represents scores and direction. When the added information comes at the end of the sentence, you only need one. For other programs (like Google Docs), you can create your own shortcuts.
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