What's the difference between en-dash (--) and em-dash (---)?

What's the proper usage of it?

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  • Jedi
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    An en-dash (N-dash) is used for things like specifying a range of values (ex. 1:00–2:00, ages 40–90) and scoring (ex. Jason beat Michael 142–3). It is longer than a hyphen.

    An em-dash (M-dash) can be used for things like when a speaker is interrupted:

    ex.

    Jimmy said,"Yo, I want to eat your pudding and your—"

    "NO!!! I don't want you to do that!!!" interrupted Akira.

    Or it can be used in place of an ellipses (...):

    ex. Darth Vader said,"I sense something, a presence I have not felt since—"

    The em-dash is longer than the en-dash and the hyphen.

    Comparison of lengths:

    Hyphen: -

    En-dash: –

    Em-dash: —

    By the way, in case you were wondering where I got the en-dash and the em-dash symbols from, I got them from the Character Map in Windows (just type in "dash" in the search). I'm not sure how to get the en-dash and em-dash for Macs, though.

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