En Dash and Em Dash

  I worked as a technical editor for Scientific journals, engineering, medical, research papers,  and Technical documentation for 4 years. Many times, we were using En dash and Em dash in the Document, a little bit confused about the hyphen, En and Em dash. This article may help you in editing the document or in writing, where to use En Dash and Em dash.

En Dash (–)

The En Dash prefers to describe an inclusive range of numbers more accurately. Always use ‘minus sign’ as En Dash.

  • To indicate a range of numbers such as inclusive values, dates, or pages.

Ex: –  1993–1994, pages 95–110, 6–8 AM.

  • We can use the En dash instead of a hyphen in Compound adjectives to join a hyphenated compound to another word.

            Ex:-  dialog box–type options

  • In other contexts, such as with scores and directions.

Ex;- The Mysore–Bangalore train leaves at two o’clock.

Em Dash (—)

   An Em Dash is a bit longer than En dash in size, used to set off an introductory noun, or a series of nouns, from a pronoun that refers back to the noun or nouns and introduces the main clause.

  • Instead of colon or semicolon use Em Dash

  Ex:-  Sheela needs three things at the store—butter, milk, and bread.

 Sheela needs three things at the store; butter, milk, and bread. (Without EM dash)

  • Instead of commas and parentheses, use Em Dash

  Ex:- I talked to Mr. Padmanabhan—CEO of The Vendas IT Company—at the Seminar hall, SIT College Auditorium. 

 I talked to Mr. Padmanabhan(CEO of The Vendas IT Company) at the Seminar hall, SIT College Auditorium. (Without EM dash)




Leave a Reply