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# CORRECT USAGE OF DASHES Source: Thursdays with Ron Dashes

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CORRECT USAGE OF DASHES Source: Thursdays with Ron Dashes [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2012, 05:40
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$$CORRECT$$ $$USAGE$$ $$OF$$ $$DASHES$$

Source: Thursdays with Ron

Dashes can be used in three ways:

1) Dashes can emphasize something, or point out irony or unexpectedness.
Consider these examples-
i)Joe-who grew up in Alaska-thinks that winter in San Francisco is cold. This is entirely unexpected. I mean since Alaska is way colder than SF, then its entirely unexpected that someone who grew up in Alaska feels that winter of SF is colder.

ii) Joe, who grew up in Miami, thinks that winter in SF is cold. Thats normal.

2)Dashes can clarify sentences/ remove ambiguity in which commas are confusing/ambigous.

3) Dashes can set off entire sentences as "description".

Consider this:
James is in financial trouble- he has not paid his rent for the past three months-but he is still making lots of purchases on his credit card.

Two things to remember:
a) Dashes are not commas. They both are similar but still they are quite different from each other, so treat them as such.
b) If you open a description with a dash, then you must have to close it with another dash unless the description goes all the way till the end.
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Re: Correct usage of dashes. [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2012, 15:48
Marcab wrote:
$$CORRECT$$ $$USAGE$$ $$OF$$ $$DASHES$$

Source: Thursdays with Ron

Dashes can be used in three ways:

1) Dashes can emphasize something, or point out irony or unexpectedness.
Consider these examples-
i)Joe-who grew up in Alaska-thinks that winter in San Francisco is cold. This is entirely unexpected. I mean since Alaska is way colder than SF, then its entirely unexpected that someone who grew up in Alaska feels that winter of SF is colder.

ii) Joe, who grew up in Miami, thinks that winter in SF is cold. Thats normal.

2)Dashes can clarify sentences/ remove ambiguity in which commas are confusing/ambigous.

3) Dashes can set off entire sentences as "description".

Consider this:
James is in financial trouble- he has not paid his rent for the past three months-but he is still making lots of purchases on his credit card.

Two things to remember:
a) Dashes are not commas. They both are similar but still they are quite different from each other, so treat them as such.
b) If you open a description with a dash, then you must have to close it with another dash unless the description goes all the way till the end.

Thanks for the info.a little less work for me
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Re: CORRECT USAGE OF DASHES Source: Thursdays with Ron Dashes [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 07:31
One more point:

The dash can serve to set off a parenthetical:

"My high school football team -- who hasn't won a game in 40 years -- just beat the best school in the state."
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Re: CORRECT USAGE OF DASHES Source: Thursdays with Ron Dashes [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2013, 21:25
Very informative post ! I got some more details as below to get clear idea of how to and when to use dash.

"A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses.
-grammarian William Strunk Jr
"

In normal circumstances, other punctuation marks (commas, colons, or parentheses) should be used. However, when you want a phrase or another part of the sentence to have extra emphasis, a dash may be used.

Examples with correct usage:
1. The first thing the lazy employees did when they arrived at work—besides slowly drinking their coffee—was to turn on their computers so the boss would think they were busy at work.
2. The only thing Tony could do—if he could do anything at all—was to sit and wait for the test results to come in the mail.
3. Sam—even though she fears clinics terribly—went to the doctor with me today.

@Marcab, Do you have any OG Sentence correction question on dashes
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Re: CORRECT USAGE OF DASHES Source: Thursdays with Ron Dashes [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2015, 13:32
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: CORRECT USAGE OF DASHES Source: Thursdays with Ron Dashes   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2015, 13:32
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