Ask an editor and they’ll tell you there are different types of dashes or hyphens. You may have noticed when you are typing that some dashes (they look like this “-”) appear to be longer or shorter than others. So here is a very simple guide to help you.
Hyphens can be used to connect words together. For example:
Hyphens were used in other ways when we handwrote messages but that’s a whole other topic.
Dashes are used between dates or numbers. For example:
- 1-3 days
- 2001 – 2007
- 1 October – 31 December
Dashes are also used in sentences when you wish to add a bit more detail or emphasis. For example:
- He knew he shouldn’t do it – but he took the money anyway.
- She turned to look at her watch – just for a moment – and then she heard a crash.
Have a grammar question? Ask Karen
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