En dash vs em dash
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En Dash vs. Em Dash. En Dash. An en dash , just one dash when typed, is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to You never put a space before or after the dash Examples: The years 2001–2003 January–June. En Dash.

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En Dash vs. Em Dash

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En dash vs em dash

En Dash vs. Em Dash


En dash

En Dash

  • An en dash, just one dash when typed, is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to

  • You never put a space before or after the dash

  • Examples:The years 2001–2003

    • January–June


En dash1

En Dash

  • An en dash is also used in place of a hyphen when combining open compounds.  

    • Examples:North Carolina–Virginia border

    • a high school–college conference


Em dash

Em Dash

An em dash is the width of two dashes when typed.

Do not use a space before or after the dash

Use an em dash sparingly in formal writing.


Em dash1

Em Dash

  • In informal writing, em dashes may replace:

    • commas,

    • semicolons,

    • colons,

    • parentheses

  • to indicate added emphasis, an interruption, or an abrupt change of thought.


Em dash2

Em Dash

  • Examples:

    • You are the friend—the only friend—who offered to help me.

    • I pay the bills—she has all the fun.A semicolon would be used here in formal writing.

    • I need three items at the store—dog food, vegetarian chili, and cheddar cheese.Remember, a colon would be used here in formal writing.


Em dash3

Em Dash

  • Examples:

    • My agreement with Fiona is clear—she teaches me French and I teach her German.Again, a colon would work here in formal writing.

    • Please call my agent—Jessica Cohen—about hiring me.Parentheses or commas would work just fine here instead of the dashes.


What is a hyphen

What is a Hyphen?

  • A hyphen is used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word.

    • Three-hundred-year-old


En dash vs em dash

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