Punctuation is the basic element of English grammar and without it a sentence is not only incomplete but also insensible. There are various marks of punctuation that are used in sentences to give them more meaning and make it easier for the reader to understand. If we omit these punctuation marks from a sentence we will be left hanging. Also, without a punctuation mark a sentence can have various meanings and the reader might assume the meaning the writer is not conveying.
Today I will talk about the punctuation mark called dash and which is not very common or easily understood.
The punctuation mark dash is denoted by the symbol – in English language.
A dash is a punctuation mark that is used separate a group of words or phrase occurring after an independent clause. There are two different types of dashes: Em dash and En dash.
Em dash is a longer dash that is used to replace parenthesis or multiple commas in a sentence.
Please call my doctor, Henry Abbott, this Wednesday.
Please call my doctor – Henry Abbott – this Wednesday.
Em dash also replaces a colon in a sentence.
He was thinking of buying two things: a phone and a notebook.
He was thinking of buying two things – a phone and a notebook.
En dash is much smaller than em dash and is used entirely differently. En dash is used to represent the time spans and range of numbers.
The meeting is supposed to be from 9-11 a.m.
The author talks about gay rights on pages 101-145 of his book.
When a connection between two words in a sentence is to be shown, en dash is applied.
The Oscar Award - winning actor is doing a major debut.