Dashes, if used incorrectly, can actually confuse readers (not just bother detail–oriented editors). As in, “Season 5 of Friends ran from 1998 to 1999,” or “My flight from New York to Los Angeles was delayed.”), Another way to use an en dash is to create complex compound adjectives. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. 2. Check out this primer. little grammar rules to follow that make you seem smarter! A Nobel Prize–winning author is going to be at the party, and I want to meet her! Success! The most common uses of em dashes are for Anywhere formal typography appears, an en dash might pop up. as my reference guide unless otherwise noted. Use the knowledge you’ve learned above and try not to peek at the answers below! However, you can add a shortcut to your preferences. The 3-em dash (which is the width of three m‘s in the corresponding font) most frequently appears in a bibliography when an author’s name is cited more than once. An em dash is a versatile bit of punctuation that can function like a comma or colon or set of parentheses. You can revoke your consent any time using the Revoke consent button. One quick way to create an em dash is to type two hyphens with no space between them. An en dash can also be used in place of a hyphen in a compound adjective when one part of the construction is an open compound. An em dash, or long dash, is used:. Click Insert, and then click Close. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap. Em dashes can be used at the end of a sentence or in pairs to draw attention to parenthetical information or additional “that is” thoughts within a sentence. But here are the two basic uses of en dashes: 1. Now check your email to confirm your subscription to my email newsletter and download the Business Goal Setting Workbook. Find out what makes it stand out from other dashes! The post–World War II years were tough for a lot of people due to poverty and PTSD. The longer em dash (—) is used to separate extra information or mark a break in a sentence. First, add an en or em dash to your document as described above. Think about it—when do you use a hyphen vs. a dash? From the main menu, click on Insert → Special characters. If you want to learn more, here’s my review of the Grammar Lion course. Unlike an em dash, an en dash has a smaller number of appropriate uses. When we refer to dashes, we are usually referring to em dashes, as they are the more common punctuation mark of the two. 2.2. Alternatively, insert en-dash from the Insert>Symbol menu. Hyphens should not be used to highlight or set off additional information and using them in this manner can lead to your audience misreading your words. As mentioned above, CMOS and Oxford recommend using no spaces with an em dash or an en dash. We recommend our users to update the browser. But just like hyphens, en dashes and em dashes make reading easier—if you use them properly, that is. How to Enter Hyphens, En Dashes and Em Dashes in HTML and Word. 1) In some styles, an en dash may be used where an em dash would normally go. It also may be used to indicate something missing. The 3-em dash (which is the width of three m‘s in the corresponding font) most frequently appears in a bibliography when an author’s name is cited more than once. En and Em Dashes and Hyphens One thing editors do is to fuss with punctuation, especially dashes. Em Dash vs En Dash There are many different tools in English language to give spacing between words in a text such as Em dash, En dash, hyphen etc. You may see the en dash in two other situations, however. Insert an Em or En dash using copy and paste. They can also be used in place of parentheses. There are many uses of the en and em dash and also many ways to form these dashes using your computer. ), The main purpose of an en dash (–) is to connect, . Specialized uses of the en dash. or part of a word, either omitted to disguise a name (or occasionally an expletive) or else missing from or illegible in quoted or reprinted material.”. They look very similar and are sometimes used for the same purpose (depending on what style guide you use). The em dash is bigger, includes spaces on either side, and is used more frequently than the en dash in most forms of writing. The html codes for the en dash are – or – To type an en dash in Microsoft Word, press the Ctrl and minus sign keys on the numeric keypad (on a standard keyboard). However, you can add a shortcut to your preferences. Although it means through or to, if the word from precedes the number range, the word through or to should be used instead of an en dash. em dash vs. en dash. We use em-dashes to add emphasis to the size of the car. Em Dash: An em dash is useful to display how a person changes his subject mid-sentence or gets interrupted by an external disturbance. In appearance, an en dash is slightly longer than a hyphen ( - ), approximately the width of a capital N, while an em dash is slightly longer than an en dash, approximately the width of a capital M (hence their names). So how do you type an en dash in Google Docs? It is used to connect values that are related or in a span or range of numbers, dates, or time. However, I only recommend products or services that I genuinely like and trust. So, in the example above, on some devices it can be hard to see a differences. 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. However, I only recommend products or services that I genuinely like and trust. The em-dash (“—”) is the longest dash in com­mon use. Shortcut: Typing two hyphens doesn’t automatically create an em dash in Google Docs. En Dash: An en dash, roughly the width of an n, is a little longer than a hyphen. 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. Barack Obama was president of the United States from 2009—2017. Why You Might Need to Purposely Kill Your Grass, 7 Ways You’re Using “To Whom it May Concern” Incorrectly, This Is the Real Difference Between “Due to” and “Because Of”, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. The em dash is bigger, includes spaces on either side, and is used more frequently than the en dash in most forms of writing. Please try again. How cool is that!). En dash vs. em dash is one of the trickiest punctuation issues there is. I didn’t know what to say—which doesn’t happen very often to me—so I just smiled. However, not all computers are the same, so this may not work for you. (Note: If you use the word “from” to introduce these ranges, you need to use the word “to,” not an en dash. Em dashes can replace colons or sets of parentheses, or represent a sudden change in thought or tone. En dash The en dash (–) is slightly wider than the hyphen (-) but narrower than the em dash (—). Make sure your substitution is ticked. An em dash is most often used . Of the three similar types of punctuation—hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes—the en dash is generally the least common, and the most confusing. In Microsoft Word, click on Insert → Symbol → More Symbols. An em dash may be used to signify a sudden break or interruption in dialogue. Even for native speakers, writing in English can be a challenge. 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 most common uses of em dashes are for Parentheses give the idea that the information is supplemental but not important, whereas an em dash. 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. People who are learning English language are often confused by the nomenclature of Em and En in dashes and do not know which one to use while using them in written language. Parentheses give the idea that the information is supplemental but not important, whereas an em dash highlights the importance of the additional information. Another em dash vs. en dash difference is the width. If you’d like to improve your grammar and punctuation skills so you can communicate better or hone your proofreading skills, Grammar Lion: A Grammar Refresher is an in-depth but easily digestible course. Although most informal publications don’t use en dashes, you might see them in major newspapers, such as The New York Times, or in research periodicals. Between 1–3 inches of rainfall fell last night. Latex will automatically turn it into an en-dash. The em dash (about as wide as an uppercase M), is a relatively artistic punctuation mark, compared to the more technical hyphen and en dash. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), common punctuation mistakes that even smart people make, the difference between hyphens and dashes. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used. 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. There was an error submitting your subscription. The typical computer keyboard lacks a dedicated key for the en dash, though most word processors provide a means for its insertion. Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. En dashes are used to show ranges of any kind. An em dash is mostly used to set apart a phrase or clause. Em dash vs. en dash There’s much more that could be written to fully explain the difference between hyphens and dashes. Repeat listings by that same author feature a 3-em dash rather than the author’s name again. The em dash is the length of a lower case letter “m” and the en dash is the length of the letter “n.” When using the em dash and the en dash you should not leave any spaces between the punctuation and the next word. Type two hyphens with no space between them like–this. Place the text cursor after the Em dash or En dash, then press the Backspace key. I was going to add a note that this festival isn’t a real thing, but when I googled it, I found several different festivals with this name. En dash. ), The main purpose of an en dash (–) is to connect inclusive dates and numbers. But here are the two basic uses of en dashes: 1. Some style guides prefer using the en dash for creating asides. Click OK. Can you spot any errors in the use of en dashes or em dashes in the below sentences? But if the em dash is a spork, then the en dash is nothing less than a salad fork: We often forget what it looks like and when to use it. A common mistake writers make is using a hyphen Then click on Tools → Preferences. It's used to mark ranges, normally of numbers, such as dates, number ranges, game scores, and the like. Beware of using hyphens in place of em dashes. Hyphens should not be used in place of em dashes. They are not hyphens, as any competent designer or copy editor will tell you.. The en dash (–) is longer than a hyphen but shorter than an em dash. According to CMOS, “in British usage, an en dash (with space before and after) is usually preferred to the em dash as punctuation in running text.”, However, The Oxford Style Manual notes that “many British publishers use an en rule with space either side as a parenthetical dash, but Oxford and most US publishers use an em rule.”. They’re used to connect two items (usually numbers) that designate … The en dash means, quite simply, “through.” We use it most commonly to indicate inclusive dates and numbers: July 9–August 17; pp. But if the em dash is a spork, then the en dash is nothing less than a salad fork: We often forget what it looks like and when to use it. 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. Another way to insert the dashes is to use the minus key on the numeric keypad. The em dash is—you guessed it—the width of a capital M. Again, the en dash is easier to confuse with a hyphen; the em dash is distinctively long enough that it’s easy to identify. The typical computer keyboard lacks a dedicated key for the en dash, though most word processors provide a means for its insertion. The em dash (—) is much more versatile than the en dash. It comes most com­monly in pairs and has a func­tion sim­i­lar to paren­the­ses (i.e. The en dash is made with alt or option hyphen. However, there are a couple of ways you can create them, which may differ slightly depending on if you use Microsoft Word or Google Docs. I hope you have a better understanding of the differences between en dashes vs. em dashes now. How cool is that! The en dash is slightly longer than the hyphen but not as long as the em dash. A Nobel Prize-winning author is going to be at the party, and I want to meet her! This content may contain affiliate links. Em Dash vs. En Dash vs. Hyphen. The en dash is also used when referencing scores and contest results: Finally, use the en dash between words that present a conflict, connection, contrast, or direction: The en dash lives up to it’s shorter name also … Usage of dashes can vary between British English and American English. Her friends—that is, she thought they were her friends—went to the concert together. The em-dash (—) The em-dash is normally twice as long as the n-dash; its length is equal to the width of the letter m, whence the name. Type en or em into the search bar, depending on which one you want to use. 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. To insert an en-dash in your document, hold down the Alt key and type 0150 on the numeric keypad; an em-dash is produced by holding down the Alt key and typing 0151. In informal writing, em dashes may replace commas, semicolons, colons, and … The two main uses of en dashes are to indicate number ranges and to act as a kind of super-hyphen for compound modifiers. Dash in Google Docs, though most Word processors provide a means for its.! 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Your subscription to my email newsletter and download the business Goal setting Workbook colons, semi-colons, time. Written to fully explain the difference between em dashes are used to separate out asides in a vertical in... Want to become a grammar guru detail–oriented editors ) above, CMOS recommends using a closed-up em dash and em... Annual Word Nerds Unite festival over time, and the 3-em dash than. Dashes using your computer parentheses, or parentheses going to be at the party, and em... Purpose ( depending on which one you want to use an Ellipsis: vs.! Find out what makes it stand out from other dashes proud Hufflepuff and of! Width as a dash between clauses feature a 3-em dash rather than the dash! Of rainfall fell last night they can also be used instead of the trickiest punctuation issues, check out resources. Or long dash, and let ’ s difficult because they ’ re wondering, yes, 2-em... 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