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Dashes, Dots and Brackets The dash looks like this: - Three dots look like this: … Brackets look like this: ( )

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Presentation on theme: "Dashes, Dots and Brackets The dash looks like this: - Three dots look like this: … Brackets look like this: ( )"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dashes, Dots and Brackets The dash looks like this: - Three dots look like this: … Brackets look like this: ( )

2 Dashes have several uses But beware! Because the dash can stand in for a number of other types of punctuation mark, some people are tempted to just use this all the time. This is an attempt to cover up the fact that they are not sure which other mark to use – but it doesn’t fool anyone!

3 Some uses for a dash: Two dashes can be used – like this – as brackets or commas to show optional extra information. A dash can be used to show that something is an afterthought – like this. A dash can show – er – hesitation and – um – interruption. A dash can introduce a list – of items, events, feelings or the uses of a dash. A dash can just indicate a pause – for effect.

4 Optional extra information Don’t forget that - just as with commas and brackets - it takes two dashes to parcel off the bit you want to separate. If you would like another example – and why not – then this will do!

5 So why not just use brackets? 1.Variety is the spice of life! 2.It’s always good to have another string to your bow! (the metaphors are endless so I’ll stop!) 3.It does actually create a different effect: He was (thank heavens!) not a big fan. He was – thank heavens! – not a big fan. The dashes keep the writer’s viewpoint slightly more involved in the sentence. The brackets suggest an aside or secret thought.

6 Right or Wrong? Ping-pong balls – made of steel – are not used in ping-pong tournaments. Fish – living in water – are unaffected by air pollution. Pixies – who are over six feet six inches tall – are few and far between.

7 Afterthoughts This is probably pretty obvious to you – or anyone else, for that matter. I could ask Trixie, Vicky, Amber or Daniel - anyone in 9.V2 really!

8 Hesitation, Confusion and Interruption Here, the dash is particularly helpful if you’re writing a speech and you want to show that the speakers are being cut off mid-sentence. Like this: “I don’t know how to say this –” “What? Are you –” “Please, no –” Or are just really confused and can’t think straight. Like this: “I don’t – umm – shall I? – Shall we – I don’t know what to do!”

9 Lists Here, the dash is the same as a colon. The first witch took out the materials – toe of frog, eye of bat, nose of stoat, finger of Martha Jennings and tongue of spam. The second witch decided she would phone for a pizza instead. NEVER EVER USE A COLON AND DASH TOGETHER - IT WOULD BE LIKE USING TWO FULL STOPS! A COLON IS MORE FORMAL.

10 PAUSES Like a semi-colon, the dash can join two ideas together. For example: I never thought it was possible to die laughing – until I saw Connor’s ballet moves. Note that, unlike a semi-colon, the dash doesn’t need the two ideas to be whole sentences. ‘until I saw Connor’s ballet moves’ is not a full sentence, but with a dash you can use it anyway.

11 Managing lots of information 5 ideas referred to here With this - and the fact that the official parents' evening is not until December - in mind, I would like to invite you to contact me at any point via to discuss your child's progress in the GCSE courses, both Language and Literature, no matter how small your query or concern may be.

12 Managing lots of information 5 separate ideas to juggle. 1.‘This’ – importance of good communication (from previous sentence) 2.Parents’ Evening not until December 3.Invitation to contact at any point via 4.About either GCSE – Language or Lit. 5.Even if a small thing.

13 Listing lots and adding to/expanding items within the list 1.Men have sought refuge on a log 2.Men will continue to do this, it’s on-going 3.Ranch workers before George and Lennie ) 4.Ranch workers after George and Lennie ) 5.All black stable bucks being discriminated against 6.Us – modern readers 7.This is most tragic of all 8.Nature is bigger than us and we are insignificant.

14 Steinbeck’s message of inevitability goes beyond main characters. It applies to the other men who have sought – and will continue to seek - refuge on that worn log; the ranch workers, past and future, who came before and will again replace George and Lennie; all the black stable bucks suffering discrimination in 1930s America; and, most tragically of all, even to us the readers of the twenty-first century, who must accept that mother nature will outlive us and the seasons will continue to turn when we are long dead and forgotten.

15 Dashes that join individual words or even go within words are called hyphens. For example: Lewis Doran-Brown If I have very big hand-writing, I might not sq- ueeze the whole word on the end of the line!

16 Three dots – ellipsis – show that something has been missed out. Good for editing overly-long quotes: I love you in a way that can only be described with song and a very elaborate dance because the feelings I have for you are too special to articulate with words. I do believe I prize the feeling more than life itself! or: I love you … more than life itself!

17 Sometimes they’re used because it’s obvious the reader knows what comes next The R.A.F. has done some stupid things in its time, but trying to fly without wings or any form of power… The writer is saying, “You don’t really need me to finish this for you, do you?”

18 To show the passing of time “Darling, I don’t know how to say this.” He felt a bang on his head, then everything went black… When he woke up, he was surrounded by people looking at him and making fun of his hair.

19 Right or Wrong? She walked back to the door (if at first you don’t succeed…), but then something made her stop. It was just that I thought I might… No, don’t bother. The more Nicola threw pencils at her… the more irritated she became.

20 Brackets There really is only one use: to add extra to a sentence - a comment. She was (hardly surprisingly) left out of the game. - an explanation The Duke’s suicide note (which said, “The gun went off when I was cleaning it,”) was suspicious. - a reference The high point of her career (on page 68 of her book) was winning the goldfish impersonation competition at Butlins. - an example That afternoon, Charlie’s activities (including singing and dancing on the table) attracted the attention of the class.

21 But do think about the effect of a bracket. It can add secrecy and seem like an aside or private thought because it is not included in the main body of the sentence. For example: I told her I loved her new look (not!) and that it really suited her personality (what personality?!) I told my parents I didn’t mind going without (though I had to hold back my tears) because I could tell they were really struggling.


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