The Differences Between Dashes


My editor gave me a note to help me understand the differences between types of dashes when working on my book (see the original here):

  1. Figure dash “-“
  2. En-dash “–“
  3. Em-dash “—“

When to use each:

  1. Between numbers not indicating a range.
    e.g. phone numbers (867-5309).
  2. Between numbers in a range. e.g. integers from 1–10.
    When connecting related words (5–year–old, solid–colored, choke–slam).
  3. Breaking apart thoughts when a period is too divisive, a comma isn’t enough, and a semi-colon is inappropriate. e.g. “Tedmarius Bifferson walked through the haunted swamp—wait, what was that noise? Oh no! A ghost is killing me! No, not Tedmarius, me! The narrator!”

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