What is a noun phrase? Em Dash vs. En Dash: A Quick and Simple Guide March 19, 2017 July 18, 2011 by Vappingo In the battle of the em dash vs. the en dash it is critical that writers are aware of the major differences between the two punctuation marks and that they ensure they use them correctly and in the appropriate format in their written documents. (And yes, the en dash is named because it’s the width of the letter n.). The long dash is used to create emphasis. Creating an en dash can be done by either: [ctrl] and the minus sign on the numpad or [alt] 0150 (on the numpad) Em dash. To create an Em dash, use the shortcut key combination Ctrl + Alt + minus. An em dash may be used to signify a sudden break or interruption in dialogue. Instead, you’ll need to use a shortcut. He’s so cute! Dashes are not hyphens and are used in several ways. 1. Only one solution was left — revenge! Note. 4. An en dash is a mid-sized dash (longer than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash) that is mostly used to show ranges in numbers and dates. En dash vs. em dash quiz. The en dash is approximately the length of the letter n, and the em dash the length of the letter m. The shorter en dash (–) is used to mark ranges. The em dash (—) sets off a word or clause and adds emphasis. The en dash and em dash are less easy. The en dash often shows range or connections. The dash we are discussing today is the ‘em dash,’ which is the width of an ‘m.’ An em dash (—) is a versatile punctuation mark. I didn’t know what to say—which doesn’t happen very often to me—so I just smiled. Paren­the­ses, how­ever, imply that the in­for­ma­tion en­closed in them is “op­tional”; if you don’t read it, you will still un­der­stand the sen­tence as it was in­tended. Using AutoCorrect. A flock of sparrows – some of them juveniles – alighted and sang. The en dash (–) is slightly wider than the hyphen (-) but narrower than the em dash (—). Look at them together below to choose for yourself:en-dash: By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity – another man’s, I mean.em-dash: By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity—another man’s, I mean. There are two types of dash. The dash can also be used in places where a comma would be typically used. CMOS editors share writing tips, editing ideas, interviews, quizzes, and more! The en dash is used to indicate distance. called? Em dash is just one of them. It is the width of an ‘m,’ hence the name. To type an en dash, press the alt/option key and the hyphen key together, and to type an em dash, hold down the upper-case key while pressing the alt/option key and hyphen key together. Revised on February 11, 2020. And in fact en dashes specify any kind of range, which is why they properly appear in indexes when a range of pages is cited (e.g., 147–48). The em dash (—) and the en dash (–) in English! The Chicago Manual of Style is a registered trademark of The University of Chicago. It’s also the longest of the dashes (e.g., hyphen, en dash). The em dash (— or -- [on an old-fashioned typewriter]) is the most commonly used type of dash and is often simply referred to as a dash. The Chicago Manual of Style Online © 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 by The University of Chicago. The em dash has several uses. Note. Unfortunately, the em-dash — and the en-dash (–) for that matter — is not popular enough to deserve its own place on the keyboard. I did… What is the difference in usage between an em dash and an en dash? Privacy Policy I frame it this way because the work they do is roughly related to their length (though I don’t think CMOS puts it this way outright). A. I will try to condense the various bits of information scattered throughout CMOS. The en-dash has become more popular over the years, where traditionally the em-dash was the most common. These example sentences could also be written with a colon or a semicolon. Is that your dog? An em dash is also known as a long dash. Writers shouldn’t overuse the em dash either; it … A note about the en dash: Because the en dash is starting to be used less frequently, this lesson will not cover it in depth. The Em Dash can be typed as two En Dashes. Examples where an em-dash should be used: School is based on the three R’s—reading, writing, and ’rithmetic. Notwithstanding its versatility, the em dash is best limited to two appearances per sentence. Insert an Em or En dash using shortcut keys. The em dash is an incredibly versatile punctuation mark that can be used instead of parentheses, commas, colons, or quotation marks in a sentence. Terms of Use The em dash is used for marking of unimportant words. Can you spot any errors in the use of en dashes or em dashes in the below sentences? What is an em dash? It can also be used for clarity in forming complex compound adjectives. One kind of dash that is frequently used is the ‘ en dash,’ which is the width of an ‘n.’ UK usage frequently employs the en dash in the place of the em dash. The em dash is perhaps the most versatile punctuation mark. Alternatively, in MS Word, you can type two hyphens together to get an Em Dash. The hyphen connects two things that are intimately related, usually words that function together as a single concept or work together as a joint modifier (e.g., tie-in, toll-free call, two-thirds). The em dash also acts as the longest stop or pause in a sentence compared to the other three dashes, which all serve to join parts of sentences rather than break up a sentence and stop the reader. Learn …, What is a pronoun? Q. It allows, in a manner similar to parentheses, an additional thought to be added within a sentence by sort of breaking away from that sentence—as I’ve done here. That’s nonsense. On a Mac, the keyboard shortcut Option + Dash (-) makes an en dash, and Option + Shift + Dash (-) makes an em dash. So, the example of em dash shown above is not good examples. in pairs, to mark off information or ideas that are not essential to an understanding of the rest of the sentence: Thousands of children—like the girl in this photograph—have been left homeless. Would this be an instance of a dash or en dash? Em Dash: An em dash is useful to display how a person changes his subject mid-sentence or gets interrupted by an external disturbance. The em dash indicates a sudden change of thought in a sentence. The en dash is about as wide as an uppercase N; the em dash is as wide as an M. (This image was made with PowerPoint and Photoshop; the relative sizes of the dashes look right but, here, the en dash and em dash don’t exactly match the width of the upper-case N and M.) The dash is one of the most important punctuation marks in the English language. Between 1–3 inches of rainfall fell last night. 4. En dashes are also used to connect a prefix to a proper open compound: for example, pre–World War II. Brackets, commas and colons can act as alternative forms of punctuation. An em dash, or long dash, is used:. Dashes, on the other hand, em­pha­size what’s in­side them; com­pare the fol­low­ing sen­tences: 1. The en dash derives its name from the … These events took place between 1990–1997 along the Paris-London route. 2. The em dash is used to show a break in a sentence. Em Dash (—) Em Dash gets its name from the width of it, which is roughly one ‘M’ long or two ‘N’ long (Em is a typographical unit twice the length of en—and almost the length of capital 'M'). Revised on February 11, 2020. The en dash is used to represent a span or range of numbers, dates, or time. I had a great vacation in Bali — oh! How can you say that ‘The dash is one of the most important punctuation marks in the English language’? If you have a numeric keyboard, hold down the Alt key and type 0151 for an … A hyphen is also used to separate syllables of a word when there is a line break, though this was more prevalent when type … No, there is no space either side. If you are looking for an easy way to type this em dash in Word, you’ve come to the right place. The em dash has several uses. It is still used to denote number ranges (please read pp. It allows, in a manner similar to parentheses, an additional thought to be added within a sentence by sort of breaking away from that sentence—as I’ve done here. Em dashes are used to separate phrases—as you would use commas, parentheses, semicolons, colons, ellipses—and isolate ancillary thoughts, offset examples, signal an interruption, or indicate emphasis. It separates distinct parts of a sentence by adding a discernable pause that’s stronger than a comma, but not as abrupt as a colon, semicolon or pair of parentheses. 2. As with many things, opinion is split between the em-dash and the en-dash. Or, it can signal an interruption (see our article on interrupting sentences for more on that!) Sometimes, an em dash is used in the same manner as a bullet point or to show an interruption between two people engaged in a dialogue. Contact Us. 20,000-volume En Dash: Just like em dash, an en dash’s size is the width of the letter ‘N.’ Hyphen: The hyphen is exactly half the size of an en dash. Hyphen, en dash or em dash A hyphen (-) is used to connect two words that function as a particular concept, or when linked together form a particular modifier. However, on a MAC keyboard, there is a simple short cut. Glitter, felt, yarn, and buttons—his kitchen looked as if a clown had exploded. It is significantly longer than the hyphen.We use the em dash to create a strong break in the structure of a sentence. Insert an Em or En dash using shortcut keys. Different types of adverbs go …, Learn how to use Used To, Get Used To and …, In this article, we are going to take a look …. Now, that is a rather fussy use of the en dash that many people ignore, preferring the hyphen. Learn the Gender of Nouns and …, Placing adverb before or after verb??? The en dash is approximately the length of the letter n, and the em dash the length of the letter m. The shorter en dash (–) is used to mark ranges. The en dash is neglected by many writers except as a substitute for an em dash, and even then it is increasingly replaced with a hyphen to mark a pause or parenthesis, especially online and, less commonly, in print journalism. Creating an en dash. On Windows it's...less simple: you need to use an alt code to get an em dash. The em dash is the mark most of us picture when we hear the term dash. En-dashes are used to express a range (“5–10 year sentence”). In interrupted speech, one or two em dashes may be used: “I wasn’t trying to imply——” “Then just what were you trying to do?” Also, the em dash may serve as a sort of bullet point, as in this to-do list: This explanation is not intended to be exhaustive (for much more, see chapter 6 in CMOS), but I do hope that it helps to frame the different potential of each length of dash. Learn how and when to use dashes in English with this useful chart. 3. The typical computer keyboard lacks a dedicated key for the en dash, though most word processors provide a means for its insertion. Learn how and when to use …, Future Continuous Tense! or amplification (“expanding”) of an idea. En Dash: An en dash is for showing a range of numbers. However, the pros use these shortcuts:In MS Word: Ctrl + Minus Key (with Num Lock enabled)In Pages: Option/Alt + Hyphen or Minus Key (with Num Lock enabled)Google Docs is typographically more basic, but if you use Google Docs a lot, you should take the time to set up a shortcut like those above by going to Tools>Preferences. The two most common dashes are the em dash and the en dash. An em-dash is typically used as a stand-in for a comma or parenthesis to separate out phrases—or even just a word—in a sentence for various reasons (e.g. Em dashes are also sometimes used as bullet points in a vertical list in informal writing. Would love your thoughts, please comment. The em-dash (“—”) is the longest dash in com­mon use. 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