2The Differences The hyphen (-) is used to separate parts of a word. The dash (–) is used to separate parts of a sentence.(Note: The dash can berepresented by twohyphens.)
3Dashes should be used in all of the following sentences Dashes should be used in all of the following sentences. Notice the potential for confusion when the hyphen is used instead of the dash.I have told you everything I know-nothing has been omitted from my account.Whatever may be your pleasure-seek no further,friends-you have come to the right place!Boy, I love being single-parents, I feel foryou-because I don’t think I’ll ever getmarried and have kids.Please find a place to sit-down on theleft there-and we can get started.
4Confused yet? Using a dash instead of a hyphen will correct all of these sentences: I have told you everything I know—nothing has been omitted from myaccount.Whatever may be your pleasure—seekno further, friends—you have come to the right place!Boy, I love being single—parents, I feel for you—because I don’t think I’ll ever get married and have kids.Please find a place to sit—down on the left there—and we can get started.
5Use a Hyphen To separate the parts of a compound adjective or noun a well-written documenta thought-provoking storyout-of-state studentsout-of-shape peoplea five-year-old boy(BUT: The boy is fiveyears old.)secretary-treasurerstudent-teacher ratiowork-study programinner-city schoolsjack-in-the-boxmother-in-law
6Use a Hyphen To set off certain prefixes well-being well-preserved self-consciousself-employedall-purposeex-ministerex-husbandanti-intellectualpro-American
7Use a Dash (carefully and sparingly) To add emphasisStudies—published and unpublished—are included in the portfolio.I promise I will make it to yourbirthday party—as long asyou save me some cake!
8Use a Dash To digress from the main clause All of my classes this semester—chemistry, English, calculus, psychology, and physics—are really pushing me to my limit.The last contestant—twohours late—finally made it tothe competition. (This sentence is an example of digression andemphasis.)
9So how do I make sure to use the right one? The dash can be represented by two hyphens (--). Microsoft Word will automatically turn two adjacent hyphens into a dash. Microsoft Word will also turn one hyphen into a dash if you enter the following keystrokes: SPACE, hyphen, SPACE. This dash (–) is a little shorter than the long dash, but it is still longer than the hyphen.
10REVIEW NOTE THE USE OF THE HYPHEN AND THE DASH IN THE SNTENCE BELOW: "To white evangelical women, Sarah Palin is a modern-day prophet, preaching God, flag, and family--while remaking the religious right in her own image" (Lisa Miller, June 21, Newsweek).