From Polyglot Club WIKI
Rate this lesson:
Further Uses of the dash (–)
This is a continuation of the lesson on the hyphen and the dash. The uses of the dash will be treated in this lesson.
Uses of the Dash (–)
- Sometimes in written English, there is a necessity for a whole sentence to interrupt or enter into another sentence in order to pass across the complete message without ambiguity. An example:
- The rivers – I cannot remember all their names – have been dredged.
- The dash is used to show a break in a complete sentence.
- If he entered through the door, he must still be in there – so let’s keep our fingers crossed.
- At times, a single placed between a repeated word is used to emphasize the repeated word. An example:
- The boy made new friends – friends that are more harm than good.
- A single dash can be used to set aside a summary or compile a list of items. For example:
- Vanilla, flour, eggs, nutmeg – these are necessary in baking a cake.
- She bought three items – a cake tin, a spatula and an egg whisk.
- Dashes can also appear in pairs in a sentence. In order to indicate an explanatory part of a sentence or an afterthought, two dashes can be used like parentheses. An example:
- Everybody – including children – couldn’t eat the cake because it was filled with sugar.