Grammar GuideHyphenWhen should I use an em-dash?

When should I use an em-dash?

When should I use an em-dash?

Rather than using two hyphens, consider using a single em-dash.

Em-dashes can take the place of commas, colons, or parentheses in your sentences. Most word processing programs autocorrect two hyphens in a row into an em-dash.

Note the emphasis in the following examples:

  • A multitude of hues (red, orange, yellow, and brown) washed the trees in color.

  • A multitude of hues—red, orange, yellow, and brown—washed the trees in color.