ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing»
  • Word Usage & Grammar

Using Dashes and Hyphens with other Punctuation Marks

Updated on September 24, 2015

Using Dashes and Hyphens with other Punctuation Marks

Source

Using dashes and hyphens with other punctuation marks

When you go to school, you learn your basic grammar and that’s almost all you will need to have a fairly competent punctuation (if you paid attention).

Aren't there enough rules already to be adding more about using dashes and hyphens with other punctuation marks?

The truth is that you don’t study all the different crazy combinations that occur with grammar and punctuation rules in school – or if you do, you don’t really remember after long, do you?

These hub is about those combinations. You won’t see them often, but if you want to have a perfect punctuation when you do learn how to combine dashes or hyphens with other punctuation marks.

Dashes and Commas

When you have a sentence where you have a dash in a place where you should put a comma, drop the comma and keep the dash.

Examples:

The witch hunter read the case – all 100 pages of it – and he took it as a personal challenge.

He gathered his working materials first – the sea salt, the stakes, the blessed rope and his iPod loaded with kick-ass music – and after having a sandwich he left for work.

If the witch hunter fails – and the odds are really against him – we can always call a vampire hunter.

Source

Quotations, Dashes and Commas

An exception to the coma-dash rule (well . . . sometimes)

When using quotations, some prefer to put a comma after the dash, just before closing the quotation; but others drop the comma.

Just choose and be consistent. If you are writing for somebody else ask what’s preferred (or better yet, avoid such strange quotations).

Without a comma:

“It is an honor to be at your service – by the way Madame, you look lovely tonight–” the witch hunter said, “may we see our ailing patient now?”

With a comma:

“The girl is resting in her chamber she was just – Oh my . . ! What a big stake you are carrying –,” Madame said, “she was just taking an afternoon nap.”

Dashes, Periods and Semicolons

If you need a period or a semicolon where you have the second of the pair of dashes, drop the second dash and keep the period or the semicolon.

She started misbehaving after our trip to Rumania – that exotic country with such an unfortunate reputation; I thought it was just a new trend, like the cinnamon challenge but with blood.

Dashes and Parentheses

Both dashes and parentheses are used to insert information that explains or qualifies, but that is interrupting and it is a different idea than the main sentence.

You would use both dashes and parentheses when you have such an interrupting phrase within another already interrupting phrase. Confusing? Check the next examples:

We were looking for a vampire or witch hunter for a long time now (or several hunters – we know how dangerous this line of work is) but you were the only one who answered the ad.

It is just the nature of the job, Madam. Many of our best - Van Helsing, Anita Blake, Mr. Summers, Buffy (please don't let me started on that girl) - changed sides in the end.

  • If the dash is in the same place where you have the closing parentheses, drop the dash (like in the last example).
  • If you have a parentheses within dashes, and both the closing parentheses and dash end in the same place, you keep both.
  • Dashes within parentheses or parentheses within dashes? You can choose either way.

Source

Dashes, Exclamation and Question marks

The exclamation or question mark goes before the second dash if the phrase continues after (you use both punctuation marks).

Before I start I need to know what I’m invoicing – have you decided on a package? – because I need a check.

My husband didn’t leave his checkbook – I can’t believe it! – so I’m paying with credit card.

If the phrase inside the dash ends with an exclamation or question mark in the place where you put the second dash, you drop the second dash (as you would with a period or a semicolon).

Is there any way to guarantee your services – they have a high cost?

If I die you can always call your credit card company and dispute the charge, but there are no guarantees with the undead – unless you go for the Stake-Them-Out-Cold package of course!

And that's it!

See, the rules weren’t that many and they weren’t so bad either!

© 2014 Gabriela Hdez

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)