Mind your dashes

Your guide to rectangular punctuation

Em Dash


The em dash is the longest dash. It's around the width of letter "m." Em dashes usually take the place of commas or parentheses, surrounding an entire phrase.

The otters were commited to their mission — even if they'd miss lunch.

En Dash


The en dash is the middlest dash. It's around the width of the letter "n". En dashes usually go between numbers, dates, times, or scores to show ranges.

She reigned during the golden era of the empire, from 2620–3120.



The hyphen is the shortest dash. The original greek name for hyphen means "in one." Hyphens connect two or more words when they go together as a single concept.

"I agree with you," the creature said, "but don't tell my father-in-law."