Teach and Learn English

Dash vs. Hyphen

What's the difference between A DASH and A HYPHEN? I've come up with a short comparison for those interested in details ;)



As you can see above in the first sentence we use hyphens to connect the words within one word. In the sentences with dashes – both en dash as well as em dash are used to connect the parts of a sentence.

Here's a table with comparison and if you need more details, you can always go back HERE - to a recent post on DASHES or HERE - to a post on HYPHENS.



DASH
HYPHEN
  (en dash)
  (em dash)
-
en dash: MAC keyboard: PRESS ALT+hyphen

PC: PRESS ALT+0150 (use the numeric board on your right only!)


em dash: MAC keyboard: PRESS ALT+SHIFT+hyphen

PC: PRESS ALT+0151 (use the numeric board on your right only!)

No problems, since it’s usually set as default in keyboards
Both types of dash are used to CONNECT or SEPARATE PHRASES and SENTENCES
Hyphens are used to CONNECT or SEPARATE INDIVIDUAL WORDS
Sam lied to me – and he thought I wouldn’t know.  (en dash)
THERE IS ALWAYS A SPACE BEFORE AND AFTER EN DASH

Sam lied to me—and he thought I wouldn’t know. (em dash)
THERE IS NEVER A SPACE BEFORE OR AFTER EM DASH
a two-year-old girl
semi-detached
user-friendly


THERE IS NEVER A SPACE BEFORE OR AFTER HYPHEN
A DOUBLE DASH is when we use two dashes to separate/connect a sentence:

My mother – who rarely gets angy – really lost her temper.
Or
My mother—who rarely gets angy—really lost her temper.










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