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How do dashes work in grammar?
A dash is a little horizontal line that floats in the middle of a line of text (not at the bottom: that’s an underscore). It’s longer than a hyphen and is commonly used to indicate a range or a pause. Dashes are used to separate groups of words, not to separate parts of words like a hyphen does.
Why do you use a dash in a sentence?
Use dashes to set off an idea or an appositive within a sentence. A dash (—) is a punctuation mark used to set off an idea within a sentence and may be used alone or in pairs. Dashes interrupt a thought in a more dramatic way than a phrase enclosed in commas, but less theatrically than parentheses.
What is the difference between a hyphen and a dash on a keyboard?
They might all look like lines on a page, but hyphens and dashes serve different purposes. To begin, a hyphen (-) is shorter than a dash (–). Hyphens join words together and dashes indicate range. But that’s just the beginning.
When do you use hyphen to connect words?
Using hyphens to connect words is easy. Picking the right words to connect is a little harder. Let’s start with compound modifiers. A compound modifier is made up of two words that work together to function like one adjective. When you connect words with the hyphen, you make it clear to readers that the words work together as a unit of meaning.
When do you take a hyphen out of a sentence?
If the hyphenated phrase comes after the word or words it’s modifying, hyphens are usually unnecessary. If you’re unsure, try adding a hyphen and taking it out to see if the clarity of the sentence changes. For example, a question that’s open ended is just as straightforward as a question that’s open-ended.
When to use a hyphen instead of a dash?
There are two commandments about this misunderstood punctuation mark. First, hyphens must never be used interchangeably with dashes (see the Dashes section), which are noticeably longer. Second, there should not be spaces around hyphens.
When do you use hyphen with compound modifiers?
Hyphen with Compound Modifiers: Two-Word Adjectives Before Nouns. Generally, you need the hyphen only if the two words are functioning together as an adjective before the noun they’re describing. If the noun comes first, leave the hyphen out.