The dash, dashes, and using dashes in English writing--Today's Free English

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Welcome to this week's writing lesson from

*You Look Dash-ing!  **

*Lesson Topic: Using Dashes (—) in Writing

Take a look at this sentence:

The first thing the lazy employees did when they arrived at work—besides
slowly drinking their coffee—was to turn on their computers so the boss
would think they were busy at work.

Look at the two dashes (—).  Is there anything else the writer could
have used instead of the dashes?  It is possible for the writer to have
used commas (,) instead of the dashes.   Since the writer could have used
commas, why did she choose to use dashes?  That's a great question!

This leads us to another question: What is a dash and when should we use

The definition of a dash is probably best summed up by the


when are dashes used

How to Use a Dash in an English Sentence (with Examples)

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** How to Use a Dash in an English Sentence **

Edited by BangDROP, Julia Maureen, Bo, Dlpn and 46 others

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Do you use a dash a lot? What about a hyphen? Many people can't tell the
difference between them. Some people even think they are the same thing. If
you are one of them, check this out and master the dash.

'); } else { document.write('


-Dash Usage Hints-

Proper Dash Usage

-Using a Dash-

1. 1
*Know the kinds of dashes*. A dash is noticeably longer than a hyphen.
There are several different dashes, but the most commonly used are the /en
dash/ (–) and the /em dash/ (—). They are so named because they are the
same width as the small letter /n/ and capital letter /M/, respectively.

'); } else { document.write('

· The /figure dash/ is a special typographical character most often used
in phone numbers. Since it's normally unavailable in word processing, you
can simply use a hyphen. (*Example*: 408‒555‒6792, or use
· An en dash (–) is most commonly used to indicate a range of numbers.
It is longer than a hyphen although a hyphen with spaces surrounding it can
be used if a dash is not available. In Microsoft Word, doing this will
automatically change the hyphen into an en dash. (*Example*: August
13–August 18, or pages 29–349. Note that there should


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