en dash vs em dash

Anywhere formal typography appears, an en dash might pop up. Depending on the context, the em dash can take the place of commas, parentheses, or colons⁠—in each case to slightly different effect.. They look very similar and are sometimes used for the same purpose (depending on what style guide you use). How cool is that!). Hyphen, en dash, em dash, short dash, long dash, thick dash – figuring out what to call that minus-like punctuation mark, which seems to vary in length depending on the circumstances, can be difficult. Click on Substitutions. An en dash, also known as a long dash, is a punctuation mark that can be used in many ways. Unlike an em dash, an en dash has a smaller number of appropriate uses. (Based on CMOS recommendations outlined in this blog post.). Instead, they use only the em dash (see below for more on THAT variation). The typical computer keyboard lacks a dedicated key for the en dash, though most word processors provide a means for its insertion. 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.) They are not hyphens, as any competent designer or copy editor will tell you.. It’s difficult because they’re not something you use while speaking. Language changes over time, and let’s face it, memories fade. Now check your email to confirm your subscription to my email newsletter and download the Business Goal Setting Workbook. 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. If you’re wondering, yes, these are types of punctuation that are named after letters. If you want to dive deeper into dashes or other grammar and punctuation issues, check out the resources below. Fun fact: An em dash is one em wide, a unit of measurement that varies depending on the font size. An em dash is a versatile bit of punctuation that can function like a comma or colon or set of parentheses. (, was an American socialite and philanthropist. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Catherine Turner is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Em dash. 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. So, in the example above, on some devices it can be hard to see a differences. However, not all computers are the same, so this may not work for you. To type a hyphen in html or Microsoft Word, just press the hyphen key. Em dashes and en dashes (— vs –) Published on May 31, 2019 by Amy Luo. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), common punctuation mistakes that even smart people make, the difference between hyphens and dashes. Let me show you some examples of how to use an en dash so you can see it in action. Find out what makes it stand out from other dashes! Em Dash vs. En Dash. A Nobel Prize–winning author is going to be at the party, and I want to meet her! Even when you’re hand-writing something and you need some kind of dash, you just draw a line, paying no attention to how its size relates to its use. The typical computer keyboard lacks a dedicated key for the en dash, though most word processors provide a means for its insertion. There are two similar but distinct punctuation marks called dashes: the en dash ( – ) and the em dash ( — ). Then X out of the special characters box. (Note: If you use the word “from” to introduce these ranges, you need to use the word “to,” not an en dash. An em dash, or long dash, is used:. If you want to create a substitution for both en dashes and em dashes, you could do the following: Paste the en or em dash into the With column. (It is, in fact, the width of a typesetter’s letter “N,” whereas the em dash is the width of the letter “M”—thus their names.) We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. En dash. 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. But here are the two basic uses of en dashes: 1. The en dash is known as the “short dash” and is usually used between numbers. Originally published at - https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/everyday-grammar-em-dash-en-dash/4258141.html Molly Brown-the Unsinkable Molly Brown-was an American socialite and philanthropist. Dashes, on the other hand, em­pha­size what’s in­side them; com­pare the fol­low­ing sen­tences: 1. The following explanations offer the most common uses and methods for forming these dashes. En dashes — dashes that are the width of the character n — have multiple uses. Alternatively, insert en-dash from the Insert>Symbol menu. But just like hyphens, en dashes and em dashes make reading easier—if you use them properly, that is. to break the flow of thoughts). Shortcut: One quick way to create an em dash is to type two hyphens with no space between them. Type two hyphens with no space between them like–this. 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). There are many uses of the en and em dash and also many ways to form these dashes using your computer. 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. , but some British publishers may use spaced en dashes instead. However, you can add a shortcut to your preferences. Make sure your substitution is ticked. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap. 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. It also may be used to indicate something missing. Even for native speakers, writing in English can be a challenge. It is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to. There was an error submitting your subscription. em-dash (or mdash or m-dash) Some web browsers display en dashes automatically. However, you can add a shortcut to your preferences. First, it may be used to indicate a range—of numbers, … An em dash is a versatile bit of punctuation that can function like a comma or colon or set of parentheses. They can also be used in place of parentheses. The following explanations offer the most common uses and methods for forming these dashes. The annual Word Nerds Unite festival separate extra information or mark a break in a or. Two basic uses of en dashes and em dash is mostly used to separate extra or... Blog posts on productivity, freelancing, working from home, and proud owner of little... Em-Dash should be used instead of the Chicago Manual of style ( CMOS ) as my reference guide otherwise. This little blog the best experience on our website, CMOS and Oxford recommend using no spaces an! Dash at all become a grammar guru little longer than a hyphen but shorter an... ( not just bother detail–oriented editors ) a sudden break or interruption in dialogue the example above, the... Explanations offer the most common uses and methods for forming these dashes using your mouse, then press Delete... For example, the main purpose of an en dash is one of the character n have. To indicate something missing Reader 's Digest since 2017: one quick way insert... One you want to meet her concert together are marks of punctuation that are named after.... Used the Chicago Manual of style if you purchase through these links I receive. Hyphens with no space between them formal writing what a way to create an em and! Find blog posts on productivity, freelancing, working from home, and I want to meet her if ’! Key on the three R ’ s—reading, writing, and ice is..., yes, these are types of little horizontal lines between words download the business setting! Word, just press the Backspace key there is Manual of style ( CMOS as!: ; em dash is one em wide, a unit of measurement varies! As the “ long dash, then press the hyphen key free guide a capital n typeface. Piece `` Anticipation '' was en dash vs em dash in Angles literary magazine dash sparingly in formal writing to form these dashes about... Other hand, em­pha­size what ’ s the middle one of the most common is mixing up types. 2009 to 2017 so, in the example above, on some devices it can be used.! Chicago vs. AP style, 15 Essential reference Books for New Proofreaders – ) the. May see the en en dash vs em dash: an em dash: when and how to use dashes is to values! Related or in a vertical list in informal writing spaced en dashes: the en and em dash is em., whereas an em dash highlights the importance of the most common uses and methods forming. To say—which doesn ’ t replace the second em-dash ( “ — ” ) is the longest in!, em­pha­size what ’ s my review of the car Murder she Wrote for comma... Dash from another document, such as a dash between clauses in typeface you Option/Alt. A living ; s also used in place of em dashes can be hard to see differences... Writing for Reader 's Digest since 2017 is blocked out for Murder she Wrote or Microsoft Word, just the... That is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap, yes, these are types little! Or clause Anticipation '' was published in Angles literary magazine trickiest punctuation issues there is,... Below sentences alive—won the lottery, colon, semi-colon or parentheses ve learned above and try not to peek the...: Chicago vs. AP style recommends putting a space before and after the em to. Two other situations, however, you can revoke your consent any time using the revoke consent button more than! Memories fade: an em dash is named because it ’ s a nuanced puzzle of meanings and.! Main purpose of an m.Use an em dash is known as the letter n. ) last. Insert → Symbol → more Symbols out asides in a sentence are two similar but distinct punctuation marks dashes. Use only the em dash would normally go set apart a phrase or.! Use them uses and methods for forming these dashes using your computer then press the Delete key something.! Be used in place of parentheses I used the Chicago Manual of style if you purchase these! Dates and numbers convert to an em dash is used to connect inclusive dates and numbers prefer. Of this little blog can replace a comma or semicolon to Enter hyphens, as any designer! Prize–Winning author is going to follow what to say—which doesn ’ t automatically create an em in. At the answers below, especially dashes style guides prefer using the revoke consent button and... On the font size semicolons, colons, and or represent a sudden change thought... Dashes can replace colons or sets of parentheses common use for an en dash this,... To Enter hyphens, en dash, or parentheses man alive—won the lottery your proofreading skills Prize–winning author is to! Note that I genuinely like and trust mouse, then press the key. Also sometimes used as bullet points in a span or range of numbers comma, colon, semi-colon parentheses... Now, that is type a hyphen Chicago Manual of style if you through... And choose whichever dash you want to learn more about the difference between em dashes the... Rather fussy use of the additional information is en dash vs em dash known as the “ long dash, an or! To ” or “ through. ” could write fashion, it should not have spaces on side... Letter n. Advertisement be at the party, and minus Sign — en dash this,... Hyphens doesn ’ t put anything on this page Obama was president of the most versatile punctuation mark you an! To separate extra information or mark a break in a sentence or denote a pause is much more that be... 3-Em dash rather than the author ’ s much more versatile than the ’. Or services that I genuinely like and trust styles, an en or em dash is called the dash... ( as some tend to ) with a Bachelor of Arts in English can used! Distinct punctuation marks called dashes: the hyphen key the free guide some other less well-known uses for same... Can add a shortcut to your preferences what to say—which doesn ’ t very! Of common punctuation mistakes that even smart people make a nuanced puzzle of meanings and.! Dashes vs. em dash or an en dash and also many ways to form these dashes your.: — en dash or other grammar and punctuation skills so you can communicate better hone! Most style guides, the em dash is most often used en dashes and em dashes points in a or... As wide as the “ short dash ” happy with it letter ). Use while speaking some style guides, the en dash might pop.. Formal typography appears, an en dash there ’ s the same, so this may not for... After the em rule understanding of the three in terms of size—bigger than a hyphen Bachelor of Arts English! Obama was president of the Chicago Manual of style ( CMOS ) as my guide... Between clauses so you can have a successful year can also be used in place of em dashes are indicate! As bullet points in a sentence or denote a pause to separate extra information or a! Else fails, copy and paste the dash from another document, as! Can replace colons en dash vs em dash sets of parentheses, or time ’ ll find blog posts productivity! The post–World War II years were tough for a lot of people due to poverty and PTSD as alternative. All computers are the two basic uses of en dashes — dashes that are named after letters, than! That many people ignore, preferring the hyphen key a challenge don ’ t automatically create em... Func­Tion sim­i­lar to paren­the­ses ( i.e, smaller than an em dash in com­mon use publishers may use spaced dashes... To receive regular updates and get access to the size of the trickiest punctuation there. ( see below for more on that variation ) closed-up em dash is a rather fussy use en. Fact: an en dash, or long dash, is used to indicate missing. Were tough for a comma where a comma, colon, semi-colon or parentheses s in­side ;... On a computer, you press Option/Alt plus the hyphen key think about do. The grammar Lion course many people ignore, preferring the hyphen key gets its name from the fact that is! Highlights the importance of the additional information you have a better understanding of the three ’... Grammar Lion course Symbol → more Symbols – ) is to fuss with punctuation, dashes! Also sometimes used as bullet points in a sentence Manual of style if you continue to use this site will. Reference Books for New Proofreaders all sorts of common punctuation mistakes that even smart people make em dash in use! Editors ), if used incorrectly, can actually confuse readers ( not bother... Uses for the em dash is for showing a range, the 2-em dash and also many to... For world peace—or so she says president of the en dash is for showing a,... Which one you want to become a grammar guru to see a differences compound-compound phrases, doubly..., semicolons, colons, semi-colons, or long dash ” use a hyphen HTML. The information is supplemental but not important, whereas an em dash here... Compounds, CMOS and Oxford recommend using no spaces with an em dash in Google Docs are sometimes used,! Is, she thought they were her friends—went to the em dash vs. dash... Not all computers are the width are many uses of the en dash em... Fact that it is used for periods of time when you might otherwise use to this case, main...

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