Skip to main content

Dashes

A dash is a single, unbroken line about the width of a capital M placed between two parts of a sentence. Because dashes are used for emphasis in a sentence, they should be used sparingly in formal writing.

Tips:

  • No spaces are placed between the words and the dash.
  • Do not overuse dashes. Too many dashes in one sentence or paragraph will make your writing choppy.
  • Incorrect: I thought she could be trusted with my children-but I was very wrong!
  • Correct: I thought she could be trusted with my children—but I was very wrong!
  • Correct: I thought she could be trusted with my children, but I was very wrong!
University of Ontario Institute of Technology logo