Use of Dashes in a Sentence: Dash Punctuation Guide

5 minute read
Use of Dashes in a Sentence

Use of Dashes in a Sentence: Dashes are the punctuation marks interrupting a sentence you are writing by putting a pause or interjection in it. They are often used in casual texts and fictional writing. These punctuation marks are small horizontal lines that are used for dividing the groups of words, not the parts as the hyphen does. They also show instant changes in thought or tone under a sentence. To read more about the usage of a dash, keep reading the blog!!

Use of Dashes in a Sentence

When the Dashes are used correctly and occasionally can help in making the writing more refined. Dashes show quick changes in thought or tone under a sentence to highlight the inconsistency between the ideas.

For Example: 

There is a defect in many foreign services–the people in them are only good at following rules.

The cheerful–I must say lunatic–quality of his rambling thrilled the crowd.

  • Dashes are used for setting off some of the sentence elements. It is also used for inserting the parenthetical description while showing their importance.

For Example:

Lamen favors–as does, quite a voice, the Administration–early admission of China to the International Monetary Fund.

Other Examples of Use of Dashes in a Sentence

  1. They are having office timings 10–7.
  2. The picnic will be organised from May 10–15.
  3. Many students — living in a hostel  — do not know what home-cooked food looks like.
  4. The Manchester United Won 3—1 in the match.
  5. My uncle loves fish—My aunt loves chicken. 
  6. Roses are her favourite flowers—after marigolds, of course.
  7. He is an award-winning athlete. 
  8. There is a north-south cricket match happening today.
  9. He is taking the Oxford–London train this morning.
  10. The BioSentinel—dated June 21, 2018—arrived in August.

Also Read: Punctuation for Class 2: Types, Examples, and Worksheets

Source: Khan Academy

Use of Dashes in a Sentence: Exercise for School Students

Use of Dashes in a Sentence

Also Read: Punctuation for Class 3 English Grammar: Definition, Uses, etc.

Definition and Use of Two Types of Dashes in a Sentence

There are two types of dashes in English Grammar: Em Dash, and En Dash. In this section, we will look at the definition of these two types of dashes. Also, we will walk you through the use of both dashes in a sentence.

Em Dash: Definition and Uses

Em Dashes are one of the most useful punctuation marks in English Grammar that can replace some of the other marks. 

Em-dash replacing commas and parentheses:

For instance, an em-dash can replace comma pairs around a clause that includes other commas to make the understanding of the sentence easier. Also, it can replace the set of parentheses around the content at the closing of the sentence.


Sentence without Em DashReplaced by Em Dash
After a few seconds of hesitation, the second batsman leapt for the ball (or, rather, stumbled for it).After a few seconds of hesitation, the second batsman leapt for the ball—or, rather, stumbled for it.
The rain in the village, because it came after a long, continued extension of sunny days, at a time of year that is normally quite wet, made the farmers happy even though they had to postpone the event.The rain in the village—because it came after a long, continued extension of sunny days, at a time of year that is normally quite wet—made the farmers happy even though they had to postpone the event.

Em-dash replacing colons

Furthermore, Em dashes are more vehement than Colons and are more formal. However, colons allow the writer to put a clause that expands the things that come before the colon. Em dashes are used when there is a need to generate some strong emotions in the writing or create a more casual tone.


Sentence without Em DashReplaced by Em Dash
She is afraid of two things: darkness and lizards.She is afraid of two things—darkness and spiders.

Em-dash replacing blank spaces:

Moreover, when transcriptionists and writers frequently denote missing letters with the em dashes. In such cases, em dashes occur two or three times continuously.


A previous employee of the indicted company, — — —, prepared an affidavit outside the court.
Carved into the restaurant’s wall was a faded inscription: “Made for Trish, by your de——ted pilot.”

En Dash: Definition and Uses

En Dashes have a little narrower width than the Em dashes. These two appear similar to each other but have different functions.

En Dash to denote a span of time or range of things:

En Dashes are normally used to show a span of time or the numbers range. In this condition, the dash must be explained as either “through” or “to”


The teacher wanted the students to read the science books Pages 56 – 63.
The scheduled time for AC installation is 5 – 7 p.m.
The year between 2008–2009 was not a profitable year for several businesses.

En Dash to denote a relationship between two words:

Another way to show a relationship between two words is by using an en dash. When one or both of the characters of a complicated compound adjective are already hyphenated compounds, you can use an en dash; nevertheless, hyphens are also allowed in these types of compositions; the key is to be consistent.


Her eighty-three-year-old grandmother is sitting on the sofa.

En Dash to connect proper noun with rest of the phrase in a sentence:

When a proper noun including two or more words makes up one part of a complex compound adjective, the proper noun is left open and joined to the remainder of the phrase by an en dash.


The Nobel Prize-winning author will be attending the conference next week.

Read more: Punctuation Marks for Class 4 English Grammar

Source: Learn Easy English


Q1. What is En dash?

Ans: An en dash is a type of punctuation mark that is normally used for expressing ranges or to clarify additional complex compound words.

Q2. What are the two types of dash?

Ans: The two types of dash are the Em dash and the En dash.

Q3. What is the difference between Em dash and En dash?

Ans: The en dash has a length similar to the letter N, and the em dash has a length similar to the letter M.

Q4. How dash is different from hyphen?

Ans: Dash has space on both sides while there is no separation of spaces in hyphens.

21+ Apostrophe Examples in Sentences19+ Quotation Marks Examples
Figures of Speech with Examples, PDFWhat is a Colon Symbol (:)? 
5+ Simple Present Tense Voice Change ExerciseFuture Perfect Passive Voice: A Complete Guide
17+ Interjectional Phrases Examples with Meaning20+ Exclamation Mark examples

This was all about the “Use of Dashes in a Sentence” and more in grammar. Hope you understand the concept and know how to proceed. You can also follow the Learn English page of Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *