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Abrupt Break in Thought.


Use a dash to indicate an abrupt break in thought.


The way the argument started was stupid – but why bring it up again? – the problem has been settled. A majority of the graduating class – fifteen percent, in fact – is going on to higher education.


Similarly, a dash or dashes are used to set off an interruption that is important to the meaning of the sentence but not grammatically part of it:


It matters not where or how far you travel - the farther commonly the worse - but how much alive you are. (Henry David Thoreau)

Setting Off Parenthetical Material

Use a dash to set off parenthetical material.

According to the Constitution only one man – and he is the President – can appoint justices to the Supreme Court.


Setting Off Explanation


Use a dash to meanNAMELY, IN OTHER WORDS, THAT IS,and similar expressions that precede explanations.

My decision not to resign was based on one thought – I enjoy teaching science to teenagers.


Dashes can be used to set off a series of specific items:

The wings of the natural extant flying vertebrates - the birds and the bats - are direct modifications of the preexisting front limbs. (Michael I Katz)


Note:Avoid the overuse of dashes. A dash introduces a pause, so too many dashes in writing can reduce readability.


Punctuate the following sentences:

1. My favorite actress Anna-Marie Harper has a degree from the University of Paris.

2. She was recently in a remake of an old film Gone With the Wind.

3. There is only one actor whom I really like Martin Tai.

4. The Third Man which is my favorite movie is showing at the Grand next week.

5. Ken enjoyed the movie for only one reason the scenes of Vienna.

6. I highly recommend the Grand Theater it’s air-conditioned.

7. He used to be very good at tennis and golf too of course.

8. When I’m ready my driver usually a member of the band picks me up.



Punctuate the following sentences, using dashes wherever appropriate and any other punctuation mark necessary.

1. Now at last in my hands was a book whose entire subject was railway trains in India in the 1940s.

2. The people here are always happy and smiling which is more than can be said for Edward.

3. Binoculars must be held steadily which means resting them or your elbows on a solid support.

4. The writer of this novel is trying to tell us how important aggression at least I think that’s what she’s trying to say.

5. On the brink of a total breakdown he met Laurie his fourth and greatest love who was to inspire some of his moving compositions.



Insert dashes in the appropriate places in the following sentences:

1. All pupils brought their dinners in baskets corn dodger, buttermilk and other good things and sat in the shade of the trees at noon and ate them. (Mark Twain)

2. The entrepreneur individualistic, restless, with vision, guile and courage has been the economists' only hero. (John Kenneth Galbraith)

3. I would have evaded and for how long could I have afforded to delay? learning the great lesson of school, that I had a public identity. (Richard Rodriguez)

4. Polar explorers one gathers from their accounts sought at the Poles something of the sublime. (Annie Dillard)

5. The fighters in the ring are time-bound is anything so excruciatingly long as a fiercely contested three-minute round? but the fight itself is timeless. (Joyce Carol Oates)



Date: 2016-01-20; view: 129; Нарушение авторских прав

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