Punctuation Rules: The Dash

The dash should be used to indicate a sudden change of ideas, but should be used sparingly. The dash may be used for emphasis or for visual effect.

1.       Use the dash to indicate an abrupt change of thought in a sentence or strong parenthetical expressions.


She feels – how can I say that? – like an outcast.

I was annoyed – no, shocked to be more specific – by his behavior.

2.       Use the dash to set off a summary or an afterthought that is added to a sentence.


The educational team will make an evaluation and draw up a plan – in fact, they will provide a complete special program for the child.

3.       Use the dash to emphasize a word or phrase that is repeated.


The president stated that we had one week – one week only – to make a decision.

4.       Use a dash to mark limits between dates, numbers, places, and times.


The admissions office is open 9:00 – 4:30 daily.

 Read pages 22 – 40.


More by this Author

  • Jose Rizal Life in Europe

    Jose Rizal left America for a trip across the Atlantic for London, arrived in Liverpool on May 24, 1888. He stayed as a guest in the home of Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor, a practicing lawyer and an exile. He did some...

  • Jose Rizal in Spain

    After Jose Rizal’s fourth year in medical studies in Santo Tomas, the University of Higher Learning in the Philippines whom Rizal was disgusted of its primitive method of instruction and the racial prejudice of...

  • The Death of Jose Rizal

    After the kangaroo trial, Rizal was escorted to his cell in Fort Santiago to make use of his remaining time. His last 24 hours was his busiest life – as if trying to meet the deadline. Last hours of Rizal. At...


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article