An em dash or long dash (—) is lengthier than an en dash (–) and three times as lengthy as a hyphen (-). It is one of the most versatile and useful punctuation marks. Subject to the context, the em dash can replace or can take the place of commas, parentheses, semicolons, colons, or ellipses—in each case to some extent with some different outcome.
When to use em dash:
To indicate info or ideas those are not necessary to an acknowledgment or understanding of the rest of the sentence:
To show other kinds of break in a sentence where a comma, semicolon, ellipses or colon could have been used traditionally:
Keep in mind that there is no space added on either side of an em dash. Dashes are quite common in informal writing, such as personal emails or blogs, but when someone is using it in formal writing, it is better to use them very carefully.
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