Let’s explore Dash!
What is dash? When to use a dash in a sentence? Any idea! Here, we will discuss all about dashes, along with its basic definition, types like em dashes, en dashes, etc, and a lot of examples.
Let’s see when to use dash!
A dash(–) is basically a piece of a horizontal line that floats in the middle of a line of the sentence.
We will learn the use of the dash in detail after few examples and basic knowledge.
Hyphen, it is not the same as a dash, see below for examples
The first thing to keep in mind is that dashes are never a necessity. They are not required by the laws of grammar and punctuation. Overusing dashes can become a sin for your writing purposes.
So just use dashes sometimes as an alternative in your writing.
Like sometimes we drink tea and sometimes coffee as an alternative, same purpose dashes serve to our prescribed grammar laws.
There are three types of dashes:
The widely used dashes are em dash (—) and en dash (–). The most common way to remember the difference between the two dashes is to visualize them.
The em dash has a visualization of the length of the letter ‘M’ whereas the en dash has a visualization of the length of the letter ‘N’.
Both the dashes not only differ in length but also differ in their use.
Em dashes are used to replace parentheses at the end of a sentence or when there are multiple commas in a parenthetical phrase.
Em Dash Example
Sentence with parentheses:
Sentence with em dash:
The en dashes are used to indicate-
Ranges of numbers
To denote a connection
Dashes are usually not a necessity. They don’t have a unique role in grammar. Dashes are an alternative to punctuation marks. They can replace,
Check out worksheets for dash for practice.
Following are possible ways to use a dash in a sentence:
Dash can be used to indicate the period and range of numbers in a sentence
Example Without Dash:
Example With Dash:
So in the above sentence, dash removed the use of words ‘between’ and ‘from’.
Dashes can be used as an alternative to a hyphen in a compound adjective with two equal elements.
Example with hyphen:
Example with Dash:
Dashes can be used as an alternative to:
Dash as an alternative to the colon
Colons are used to offer more information about something that is previously mentioned in the sentence.
Example using a colon
In the above sentence, the colon is used. Now, look at the following sentence where the dash is used.
Example using the dash
Dash as an alternative to semicolon
Semicolons are used to give another transition between the two elements.
Example without semicolon:
The above sentence looks a bit complex.
Example with a semicolon:
In the above sentence, the semicolon gives a smoother transition between the two sentences.
Example with a dash:
Dash as an alternative to ellipsis (i.e three dots)
Ellipsis is used to give a pause or effect within the sentence.
Example using Ellipsis
Example using Dash
Parentheses ‘()’ is used for putting up explanations or adding some extra information in the sentences. So dashes can be used to replace the parentheses in the sentences.
Example with parentheses
Example with dash
One can use an em dash to credit a quotation.
“There used to be a real me, but I had it surgically removed.” — Peter Sellers (1925–1980)
“Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.” — Mark Twain (1835–1910)
Also, keep in mind, to always use an em dash for crediting a quotation. Don’t use en dash or hyphen for this purpose.
The good news is that dashes can be used to replace colon, semicolon, and ellipsis.
Whereas bad news is that using dashes every time doesn’t look good. It will not let you showcase your grammar skills and also cut down your options for expressing your thoughts.
Also, things to keep in mind are as follows:
Hence, finally, we have got a basic idea about what is dahs and when to use a dash in a sentence. Any doubt, please let us know!