Hyphens and Dashes
Transcript Hyphens and Dashes
Hyphens and Dashes
Hyphens with Numbers
Use a hyphen (not a dash) between two
dates and between page numbers.
Prohibition (1919-1933) came about as a
result of the Eighteenth Amendment.
Hyphenate numbers from twenty-one to
In spelled out fractions (one-third)
Hyphen and Dashes
The hyphen is a short horizontal line while
a dash is longer.
The most common use for a hyphen is to
divide words at the end of lines. The
important rule is to divide words only
between syllables (consult a dictionary for
Hyphens for Clarification
There are a few instances when a hyphen
should be used to clarify the meaning of a
Your favorite sports star resigned!
Your favorite sports star re-signed!
Hyphens and Prefixes
Hyphens are needed with three prefixes
(ex-, self-, and all-) and with one suffix (elect).
Also, any time a prefix comes before a
capitalized word, the prefix is hyphenated
(such as anti-American).
Hyphens and Compound
When a compound adjective (two or more
adjectives that go together to form one
thought or image) precedes the noun it
modifies, it should be hyphenated.
Charles Dickens was a nineteenth-century
(In this case, nineteenth-century is used as
an adjective modifying writer.)
Charles Dickens was a writer who lived in the
Exception with Adverbs
If one of the modifiers before the noun is
the word very or is an adverb that ends in
–ly, you do not need a hyphen.
a very condescending attitude
A surprisingly good movie
Dashes are used for informal writings.
According to Lewis Thomas, a dash
provides a window for some informality in
writing, allowing the writer to introduce a
sudden change in thought or tone.
Remember if a dash is not available on the
keyboard, type two hyphens in place of it.
Dashes in Action!
The odometer has just reached thirty
thousand miles, and I suppose it’s—oops!
I just passed the street where we were
supposed to turn.
A dash may also be used to give
emphasis to something that’s come
Elizabeth spent many hours carefully
planning what she would pack in the van—
the van that would be her home for the
next three months.
Dashes may also be used to define or give
more information about something in the
Margaret knew that when she finally
arrived at her sorority house, she would be
greeted by her sisters—Lillian, Bea, and
Practice on workbook page 267