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English Grammar

Notes and quick refrence on formal syntax I can never seem to remember

em-dash / en-dash / hyphen

These are important distinctions to make since I use smart punctionation in pandoc. Examples taken from this answer on


In pandoc use triple dashes, ---.

An em-dash is typically used as a stand-in for a comma or parenthesis to separate out phrases—or even just a word—in a sentence for various reasons (i.e. an appositive). Examples where an em-dash should be used:


in pandoc use double dashes, --.

An en-dash is used to connect values in a range or that are related. A good rule is to use it when you’re expressing a “to” relationship. Examples where an en-dash should be used:


In pandoc use a single dash, -.

A hyphen is used to join words in a compound construction, or separate syllables of a word, like during a line break, or (self-evidently) a hyphenated name.