- That girl—that beautiful girl—captured Scott's heart. (The em dash adds emphasis.)
- Pleasantville had seemed like such a wonderful place—until now. (The em dash shows contrast.)
- I would love to help—oh wait. I can't right now. (The em dash shows contrast.)
- My friends—Joseph, Rita, and Janet—will help me move into my new apartment. (Commas or parentheses could also work here.)
- There was only one thing on her mind—the treasure. (A colon could also work here.)
- I earn the money—my wife spends it all. (A semicolon could also work here.)
Here are some examples of the en dash with numerical ranges.
- Our homework is to read pages 8–13 in our textbook.
- Shannon was living in Japan from 2009–2011.
- A traffic jam is blocking the Utah-Idaho border.
- A traffic jam is blocking the New York–Pennsylvania border.
Hyphens are used in most compound words and adjectives, but not in all compound words like phrasal verbs.
- mother-in-law, sugar-free candy, 5-year-old daughter
- Turn off the TV.
- The thief broke into my house.
- co-owner (not "coowner")
- re-cover (to cover again) vs. recover (to get well)
- Maria has two children: a five- and a three-year-old.
- Carsten is excited to start his uni-
versity classes this week.