How to use a dash?


A dash is a small horizontal line in the center of a line of text. It is lengthier than a hyphen and divides word clusters rather than individual words like a hyphen would. Dashes signify a break from the point you’re trying to make in your statement. To introduce an interruption or break in your text, use dashes. In serious academic writings, dashes are seldom utilized. They are more prevalent in informal writings and fictions. Keep in mind that any additional information you include with dashes is pertinent and is not only there for adornment.

Types of Dashes

There are two types of dashes, namely, em dash and en dash.

Em Dash

When used skillfully, it may emphasize a point more strongly than a comma and indicate a lengthier, more pregnant pause. When overused, it conveys a sense of hurriedness and recklessness and can make your paragraphs less compact. Do check to see whether your statement would still make sense if the portion with the dashes were to be removed. Some of the uses of em dash are:

  • To indicate pause

Example– The painting—seen from a particular angle—had multiple colors.

  • In a speech, to indicate when a phrase has been cut off.

Example– “Help! The cycle is too fast,” the boy shouted. “I think I’m going to —.”

  • To signify the beginning and end of a string.

Example– There were only three members—the father, the sister, and the maid—at the funeral.

  • To substitute obscure, censored, or purposefully deleted letters

Example– The victim’s friend, — — —, offered an off-the-record statement.

En Dash

The en dash is frequently used to denote time periods or numerical ranges. Some of the uses of en dash are:

  • To represent time or range

Example– Pages 103–110 were missing from the book.

  • When employing connecting phrases that have previously been hyphenated or a multiple-word phrase as a modifier, use an en dash.

Example– AI-based appliances are quite popular.


The correct usage of dashes is essential to convey the accurate meaning of a statement. For more such content, Scientific English editing, and Medical Writing Services, please visit You can mail us at for assistance.

Happy Reading!!!


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