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It’s so common in written English to see a hyphen misused. Don’t let that be you! Learn this grammar point to use the hyphen perfectly every time.
I can’t stand it when people misuse the hyphen. We have three different punctuation symbols that looks similar.
We have the hyphen, the En dash, a little longer, and the Em dash, longer still. We use the hyphen to connect words that as an idea are describing something. For example, a five-minute break. It’s not a five break, it’s not a minute break. It’s a five-minute break. Use a hyphen without spaces for five-minute.
You can use and En dash, that’s the next longest line to show a range of time. For example, the event is from 7-10 tonight. Now the em dash, this is the longest line is used show parenetical that’s extra information. And it drives me crazy when people use the hyphen here. For example, my dad who is never late, who’s over an hour late. My dad who’s, dad who’s, that doesn’t go together in one idea. So we need an Em-dash there. Em dash doesn’t have a space before or after.
Hyphen, en dash, em dash. Learning how to use this can make you writing look more sophisticated.