Difference Between Hyphen and Dash

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: August 17, 2022

       

Difference Between Hyphen and Dash Difference Between Hyphen and Dash

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Introduction

Every language has its own set of basic grammatical rules to make it easier to grasp. Dashes and hyphens seem quite similar. They have slight variations, however, they can drastically alter the meaning of a phrase. Many additional characteristics, such as punctuation marks, are involved in writing a certain language. Dash and hyphen are separate punctuation markings that are in the shape of short straight lines, making it difficult to distinguish between these two types of punctuation marks. Punctuation marks are used to make sentences clearer and easier to grasp. Hyphens and dashes are two often used punctuation markers. A hyphen is a sort of punctuation mark that is used to join words or chunks of words together. It cannot be substituted for other sorts of dashes.

A dash is longer than a hyphen and is used to represent a range or pause. The en dash (-) and em dash (—) are the two most popular forms of dashes. The smallest hyphen (-) is used to unite numerous words that operate as a single notion, often known as a compound word. When providing a range, the en dash (-), a hyphen with a growth spurt, is used to indicate the phrases "to" or "through." The longest and most flexible em dash (—) is employed as a more dramatic comma, semicolon, or colon.

Hyphen vs Dash

The primary distinction between a hyphen and a dash is that a hyphen is shorter than a dash. Second, a hyphen connects two words or portions of words. Dash, on the other hand, symbolizes a range or a halt. Third, the hyphen is known as an em-dash, whereas the dash is known as an en-dash. The hyphen is the same length as the typewriter’s letter, while the dash is the same length as the typewriter's 'n' letter. Meanwhile, Dash is used to split numerical ranges, combine related nouns or directional adjectives, and generate complicated compound adjectives. A hyphen joins two or more words together to generate a hyphenated compound word having a combined meaning. A dash, on the other hand, usually indicates a halt or a range between two objects. The hyphen and dash differ not just in appearance, but they also transmit various meanings to readers. A hyphen, as opposed to a dash, is a significantly shorter horizontal dash. Furthermore, it is utilized to connect words or sections of words. Despite the fact that it is a long parenthesis, it is sometimes known as an em-dash. Furthermore, it is the same length as the letter on a typewriter. Finally, the hyphen denotes compound numerals, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and incomplete words. A hyphen is a significantly shorter horizontal dash than a dash. It is used to indicate a range or a halt. It's also known as an en-dash. Furthermore, it is the same length as the letter 'n' on a typewriter. Finally, in these circumstances, the dash is employed to divide numerical ranges, the combination of related nouns, or directional adjectives, and to form complicated compound adjectives.

The punctuation mark is an important aspect of English grammatical rules. People, on the other hand, frequently mix up a hyphen with a dash. However, a professional understands when and how to utilize these punctuation marks. The hyphen and dash are two popular punctuation signs, albeit they are difficult to distinguish. They are, however, considered distinct from one another.

Difference Between Hyphen and Dash in Tabular Form

Table: Hyphen vs Dash
Parameters of Comparison
Hyphen
Dash
Length
The horizontal dash in the hyphen is shorter.
Dash's horizontal dash is longer.
Function 
The hyphen is used to connect words or sections of words.
A dash denotes a range or a halt.
Called 
Hyphen is also known as an em-dash.
The dash is known as an en-dash.
Length similar to a typewriter
In the typewriter, the hyphen is the same length as the letter.'
The dash is the same length as the letter 'n' on a typewriter.
Used 
In such circumstances, compound numerals and compound nouns are separated by a hyphen.
In such circumstances, a dash is used to distinguish numerical ranges or the combination of related terms.

What is a Hyphen?

A hyphen is a punctuation mark used to combine compound nouns or a compound noun plus a gerund into a single word. A hyphen is its character and should not be confused with other dashes. There are several examples of hyphen usage in the English language, and even modern e-mail uses this great punctuation symbol. Thus, the primary function of a hyphen is to divide a word into parts or to combine two or more words to form a composite word. A hyphen (-) is a small horizontal punctuation mark that is commonly used to connect two words. A hyphen indicates a word's combined meaning or division; it can also imply an inferred word to follow. Because of its similarities, it is frequently likened to an em-dash.

While speaking, a pause or halt is employed. Similarly, to denote a halt or stop in a phrase, a series of symbols is utilized. The fundamental purpose of these is to make it more understandable and apparent to the user. An editor or writer understands the significance of such punctuation marks in writing. It may be difficult to tell the difference between a dash and a hyphen. Hyphen use varies depending on the context, such as compound numerals, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and incomplete words. Quite modifiers, like "best-in-class," also contain hyphens. When a modifier follows a noun, a hyphen is not used. In book, magazine, and handwritten letter formatting, a hyphen is also used to signify incomplete words. A compound adjective with an adverb as the first word also lacks a hyphen.

When to use Hyphens?

Compound Nouns

These new words are sometimes produced by merging two or more existing concepts, with the resulting combination having a distinct meaning. These new compound terms, such as "sum of its components," can be written openly. As some compound terms get more popular, many of the hyphens vanish, resulting in closed compounds. There are no hard and fast rules determining which compound words should be opened, hyphenated, or closed.

For example: dry-cleaning, daughter-in-law

Compound Modifiers

A compound modifier is a compound word that describes the noun that comes after it. Most compound modifiers are composed of an adjective and a noun or participle. The hyphen indicates to the reader that the words should be regarded as a description for the noun. Compound modifiers are often made up of an adjective and a noun or participle. They are also frequently made up of a noun and a gerund.

For example: My cousin bought a five-room house.

Hyphens in Numbers

If huge numbers must be spelled out, a hyphen is necessary for compound numerals ranging from 21 (twenty-one) to 99. (ninety-nine).

For example: Fifty-six bottles of pop on the wall

What is a Dash?

A dash is a lengthy horizontal punctuation symbol that represents a pause or a range. It is often used in place of an em-dash.

A punctuation mark is necessary for writing because it represents a pause or halt. While typically possible to pause while chatting. As a result, punctuation marks are utilized to make it more visible and understandable while writing. Dash is a punctuation mark that comes in two varieties: em dash and en dash.

While em-dash is the longer of the two, en-dash is the shortest of the two. Unlike a hyphen, a dash may be used in a variety of ways. Dashes are classified into two types: en-dash and em-dash. En-dash is also known as N-dash since it is as broad as the letter N. The dash is used to divide numerical ranges, join related nouns or directional adjectives, and form compound adjectives. A dash is used when employing a range of numbers. In terms of aesthetic choice rather than regulation, an en-dash is preferable over a hyphen. It is used to join nouns that are related or directed adjectives. Even when composing complicated compound adjectives, an en dash is frequently favored over a hyphen.

When to use En Dash

En dashes, which are roughly the width of an upper-case N, are frequently confused with hyphens. They're intended to provide a bit additional glue when you have a compound modifier with a multi-word part that can't be simply hyphenated. The en dash is a somewhat enlarged variation of the hyphen, and when considering the hyphen-dash functional spectrum, the en dash would be in the center but slightly closer to the hyphen side. An en dash is most commonly used to replace the words "to" or "through" when representing a range of values, such as a period, dates, or integers.

For example: He is a Nobel Prize–winning chemist.

When to use Em Dash

In comparison to the more technical hyphen and en dash, the em dash is a more aesthetic punctuation mark. While the hyphen and en dash serve more particular technical functions, the em dash is the most flexible and the sole real punctuation mark. It can be used as a more emphatic substitute for commas, semicolons, or colons. An em dash is commonly used to denote a pause in a statement. You can emphasize parenthetical material with a pair of em dashes. Em dashes and hyphens are not interchangeable. Using a single hyphen instead of an em dash might cause readers to become confused and make your writing appear amateurish.

For example: It turns out that Mr. Whitea man I always suspectedwas the true culprit.

En Dash vs Em Dash

The en dash is somewhat shorter than the em dash. They also serve a distinct purpose. En dashes are most commonly used to signify numerical ranges and as a form of super-hyphen for compound modifiers. When employing an en-dash as a punctuation mark between words in a phrase, apply space on either side. However, there is no space before or after the lengthier dash, the em-dash. En-dash is the more generally utilized of the two by writers. In terms of use, the larger m dash implies a pause or an afterthought, but the smaller en-dash is neutral and is used to express a range, such as in money.

Main Difference between Hyphen and Dash in Points

  • The horizontal dash in Hyphen is shorter than the horizontal dash in Dash.
  • The hyphen is used to connect words or sections of words. Dash, on the other hand, symbolizes a range or a halt.
  • The hyphen is known as an em-dash, whereas the dash is known as an en-dash.
  • The hyphen is the same length as the letter on a typewriter, while the dash is the same length as the 'n' letter.
  • Compound numerals, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and incomplete words all need the hyphen. Meanwhile, Dash is used to split numerical ranges, combine related nouns or directional adjectives, and generate complicated compound adjectives.

Conclusion

Hyphens are short links that combine numerous words into one, en dashes are longer spanning connections that replace "to" or "through," and em dashes are punctuation marks that emphasize the length of the link. In English, punctuation marks are an important part of the grammatical rules. The distinction between a hyphen and a dash, on the other hand, is usually erroneous. Although they are difficult to discern, the hyphen and dash are two prominent punctuation marks. Using hyphens and dashes appropriately is a little but critical feature in any type of writing. Even if your keyboard lacks an en dash or an em dash key, effectively employing dashes helps your writing appear professional and deliberate.

However, they are separate from one another. A hyphen is a vertical dash that is much shorter than a dash. It's also utilized to link words or portions of words together. To summarise, the hyphen represents compound numbers, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and incomplete words. A dash is a lengthy horizontal dash that is much longer than a hyphen. It can also signify a range or a pause. It's also referred to as an en-dash. Finally, the dash is used in a variety of scenarios, such as dividing numerical ranges.

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"Difference Between Hyphen and Dash." Diffzy.com, 2022. Sun. 27 Nov. 2022. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-hyphen-and-dash-741>.



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