Punctuation marks: Dash (–)

A dash is used:

  • 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.

My son – where has he gone? – would like to meet you.

  • to show other kinds of break in a sentence where a comma, semicolon, or colon would be traditionally used:

One thing’s for sure – he doesn’t want to face the truth.

Things have changed a lot in the last year – mainly for the better.

Dashes are especially common in informal writing, such as personal emails or blogs, but it’s best to use them sparingly when you are writing formally.

 

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