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What the Em Dash is Going On?!

em dash

Sometimes when you are writing, you feel the urge to—stop—like that. It’s called an em dash and the truth is, you really don’t know why. An em dash is, what exactly? The answer to that question is here, right along with how to properly use this grammatical tool in your writer’s proverbial pencil box.

An Em Dash is Born

The reason we have the em dash aka the long dash is multifold. Oxford Dictionaries explains that the em dash has two possible duties:

  • Use in place of parentheses to set off information
  • Use in place of commas or some type of colon

If you are trying to best use that good ole long dash, it’s signified with two of these – closed off with the words on each side of the em dash. That means no extra space needed.

Best Em Dash Use

Should you be using the em dash—or is this something old school and controversial like the Oxford comma? To be honest—yes. Em dashes are all over the internet. It’s a great way to show a significant break in a train of thought in your sentence structure.

Learn More Grammatical Sense

Start making more cents per words by utilizing the latest grammatical sense from the writers at WriterAccess. Along with the Grammar and Wordsmithing blog, you can also branch off into this creative writing channel.


“Welcome. I’m the Whispering Wordsmith of the Woods, An Old Man Willow type cunning the lit forest, Disrupting textbookish writers with grammar snaps and cracks.” As a professional web content writer for small-to-medium businesses, Miranda B understands how to effectively balance technical jargon and personal brand messaging. Her content is sticky, evergreen when expected to be, and always creative. Keep ’em coming back for more, that’s Miranda’s motto!

Guest Author

By WriterAccess

Freelancer Miranda B

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