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Teacher Tips and Answers

Using Dashes


Dashes (—) create dramatic pauses. You can use them to emphasize words.

This research project is big—very big.

You can also use a them to set off material that interrupts the sentence.

I spent my entire afternoon—one long, unending afternoon—in the library.

In dialogue, a dash can indicate halting speech.

I said to the librarian, "I'd really like to—that is, do you have—I mean, I need some real help."

Since dashes are so dramatic, you should use them sparingly for maximum effect.

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