Dash it all! How do you use hyphens and dashes?

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.

  1. Hyphens

Hyphens can be used to connect words together. For example:

  • On-board
  • Grown-up
  • On-site
  • One-sided
  • Thing-a-ma-jig

Hyphens were used in other ways when we handwrote messages but that’s a whole other topic.

  1. Dashes

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

Proudly sponsored by Consider It Done Australia

Recent Posts

Today’s Word that Sells is You

Some words are a powerhouse of persuasion. That’s why I call them “Words that Sell”. Today’s Word that Sells is You. Want to attract more ...

If enquiries are slowing, should you discount?

When things slow down, do you offer discounts? With my marketing background, I see pricing differently to accountants. Here are my insights on the effects ...

Today’s Words that Sell are The Special Things you do

Some words are a powerhouse of persuasion. That’s why we call them “Words that Sell”. This time, we’re talking about more than a word or ...

Can customer newsletters grow your business?

With our inboxes constantly filling, it’s easy to assume no-one wants more emails. But customer newsletters that provide great content, still work. Here’s an example ...

Today’s Word that Sells is Freedom

Some words are a powerhouse of persuasion. That’s why we call them “Words that Sell”. Freedom! No guilt, no hassle and no restrictions. No wonder ...

3 Credibility killers you need to avoid

Whether it’s trying a new café or a new supplier for your business, most sales begin with an online search. But there are 3 credibility ...