Difference Between Hyphen and Dash (With Table)

Every language has its set standard grammar rules to make it more impediment and understandable. Writing a specific language involves many other factors such as punctuation marks, etc. Punctuation marks are used to make the sentence more clear and understanding. Some of the commonly used punctuation marks are hyphens and dashes, although people tend to not differentiate between them, yet they’re very different from each other.  

Hyphen vs Dash 

The main difference between Hyphen and Dash is that hyphen is shorter than a dash. Secondly, Hyphen joins words or parts of words. Meanwhile, Dash represents a range or a pause. Thirdly, the hyphen is called em-dash, while the dash is called an en-dash. Fourthly, the hyphen has the same length as the ‘m’ letter in the typewriter, while the dash has the same length as to ‘n’ letter in the typewriter. Lastly, Hyphen is used in such cases compound numbers, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and unfinished words. Meanwhile, Dash is used in such cases to separate ranges of numbers, the combination of related nouns, or directional adjectives, and create complex compound adjectives. 

A hyphen is a much shorter horizontal dash than a dash. Besides, it is used to join words or parts of words. Sometimes, it is also called em-dash, although it is a long parenthesis. Moreover, it has the same length as the ‘m’ letter in the typewriter. To conclude, the hyphen is used to represent compound numbers, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and unfinished words.

A dash is a much longer horizontal dash than a hyphen. It is used to signify a range or pause. Sometimes, it is called an en-dash. Besides, it has the same length as the letter ‘n’ in the typewriter. Lastly, the dash is used in these cases to separate ranges of numbers, the combination of related nouns, or directional adjectives, and create complex compound adjectives.

Comparison Table Between Hyphen and Dash 

Parameters of comparison Hyphen Dash 
LengthHyphen has a shorter horizontal dash.Dash has a longer horizontal dash. 
Function The hyphen joins words or parts of words.Dash represents a range or a pause. 
Called Sometimes, Hyphen is called em-dash. The dash is called an en-dash.
Length similar in typewriterThe hyphen has the same length as the ‘m’ letter in the typewriter.The dash has the same length as to ‘n’ letter in the typewriter. 
Used Hyphen is used in such cases compound numbers, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and unfinished words.Dash is used in such cases to separate ranges of numbers, the combination of related nouns, or directional adjectives, and create complex compound adjectives.

What is Hyphen? 

A hyphen is a punctuation mark that is used for joining words or parts of words. It is shorter than a dash. It is sometimes compared to em-dash due to their shared similarities. 

A pause or stop is used while talking. Likewise, a set of symbols is used to indicate a halt or stop in a sentence. These have a primary goal is making it more understanding and clear to the respective.

Hyphen is one such symbol used as punctuation to express pause in compound words. And it includes dual-heritages. 

It may be a little tricky to understand the difference between a dash and a hyphen. As people often mistake hyphens as a dash or vice-versa. However, an editor or a writer knows the emphasis of such punctuation marks in writing. 

Although, the use of hyphens can change according to specific cases, such as compound numbers, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and unfinished words. 

A hyphen is used in compound numbers composed of two digits, and it also fits in long numbers. Besides, many compound nouns have a hyphen for connecting a word to a noun. But, Not all nouns have hyphens. 

Quite modifiers also contain hyphens, such as “best-in-class”, etc. However, a hyphen is not used where a modifier comes after nouns. Additionally, A compound adjective with an adverb as a first word doesn’t have a hyphen. 

Hyphen is also used to indicate unfinished words in formatting books, magazines, and handwritten letters. In this context, it symbolizes the rest of the sentence on the following page or line.

What is Dash? 

A Dash is a long horizontal punctuation mark that is used for indicating a pause or a range. It is usually similar to an em-dash. 

A punctuation mark is essential for writing as it depicts a pause or stops. While usually halting can be done during conversing. Therefore punctuation symbols are used to make it more apparent and understanding while writing. 

Dash has a variety of uses, unlike a hyphen. A hyphen is generally used to make compound words.

The two types of dashes are en-dash and em-dash. En-dash is also called N-dash as it is wide as much as the letter N. While, Em-dash is also called M-dash as it is wide as much as the uppercase letter M. 

Moreover, the dash is used to separate ranges of numbers, to combine related nouns or directional adjectives, and to create compound adjectives. While using a range of numbers, a dash is used, such as “class runs from 4-6 pm”. 

Besides, An en-dash is preferred over a hyphen in respect to stylistic preference rather than a rule. It is used to combine related nouns or directional adjectives, such as “East-West Highway”. 

Even use of an en dash to compose complex compound adjectives over a hyphen is usually preferred. It is not a rule to use an en dash in this context. 

Main Differences Hyphen and Dash

The punctuation mark is an essential part of the grammatical rules in English. However, people often tend to misunderstand between a hyphen and a dash. Although, a professional knows how to use and when to use these punctuation marks. One of the common punctuation marks is hyphen and dash, although they’re very different to tell them apart. Yet, they are very different from each other. 

  1. Hyphen has a shorter horizontal dash, while Dash has a longer horizontal dash. 
  2. The hyphen joins words or parts of words. Meanwhile, Dash represents a range or a pause.
  3. The hyphen is called em-dash, while the dash is called an en-dash. 
  4. The hyphen has the same length as the ‘m’ letter in the typewriter, while the dash has the same length as to ‘n’ letter in the typewriter. 
  5. The hyphen is used in such cases compound numbers, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and unfinished words. Meanwhile, Dash is used in such cases to separate ranges of numbers, the combination of related nouns, or directional adjectives, and create complex compound adjectives. 

Conclusion 

In English, the punctuation mark is an essential aspect of the grammatical rules. The difference between a hyphen and a dash, on the other hand, is frequently misunderstood. A professional, on the other hand, understand how and when to utilize these punctuation marks. The hyphen and dash are two popular punctuation symbols, albeit they are difficult to distinguish. They are, however, significantly distinct from one another.

A hyphen is a horizontal dash that is substantially shorter than a dash. It’s also used to connect words or sections of words. Although it is a lengthy parenthesis, it is also known as an em-dash. Furthermore, it is the same length as the typewriter’s ‘m’ letter. To summarise, compound numerals, compound nouns, compound modifiers, and incomplete words are all represented by the hyphen.

A dash is a horizontal dash that is substantially longer than a hyphen. It’s also used to denote a range or a halt. It’s also known as an en-dash. Furthermore, it is the same length as the typewriter letter ‘n.’ Finally, the dash is utilized in various situations, such as to divide numerical ranges, to combine related nouns, to generate directional adjectives, and to make complicated compound adjectives.

References

  1. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7208/9780226191294-092/html
  2. http://tailieudientu.lrc.tnu.edu.vn/Upload/Collection/brief/Brief_60835_20180717085700_20180514161823-Englishskillswithreadings.pd
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