Skip to Top NavigationSkip to Utility NavigationSkip to SearchSkip to Left NavigationSkip to Content
Mobile Menu

Dash

Em Dash

The em dash is perhaps the most versatile of punctuation marks. It can be used in sentences to create a strong break, to show emphasis, or to denote a change in thought. Depending on the context, the em dash can take the place of commas, parentheses, or colons. Many confuse the em dash for the slightly narower en dash or the even narrower hyphen.

  • She likes all kinds of music—classical, jazz, country, and rock.
  • Matt joined the company a month before it went public—and long before it became the billion dollar giant it is today. 

The em dash can be created by holding down the ALT key and typing 0151 on the numeric keypad (right side of the keyboard). Macintosh users, press Shift-Option and the minus key at the same time. 

En dash

The en dash is used to represent a span or range of numbers, dates, or time. There should be no space between the en dash and the adjacent material. Depending on the context, the en dash is read as “to” or “through.”

  • The president's term was 1960–64.
  • Hawktober Weekend will be held Oct. 14–16.

The en dash can be created by holding down the ALT key and typing 0150 on the numeric keypad (right side of the keyboard). Macintosh users, press the option and minus keys simultaneously.