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Use of dash

(13 Posts)
irvineoneohone Fri 28-Oct-16 19:23:37

I was wondering if this is the right way to use dash.

"His countdown to Nova Driver- which was his best attack- was starting."

My ds is in yr4. He has written them today, but haven't got a clue if he is using it right or not. Tbh, looks ok to me but not 100% sure.
Is there any particular rules for using them? Can you recommend any resources for me(non native English speaker) to reference usage?

Heratnumber7 Fri 28-Oct-16 19:28:06

You can use them instead of brackets (). Does that help?

irvineoneohone Fri 28-Oct-16 19:35:56

So they are allowed to use them when writing at school? Instead of ()?

His countdown to Nova Driver(which was his best attack)was starting."

Either of them are ok?

CauliflowerSqueeze Fri 28-Oct-16 19:38:04

Yes. The brackets just make for a greater emphasis. The dashes are used in the same way but have just more of a "by the way" meaning.

ImperialBlether Fri 28-Oct-16 19:39:40

You can use any of the below, but I'd use commas.

Dashes, but put a space either side.
"His countdown to Nova Driver - which was his best attack - was starting."

"His countdown to Nova Driver, which was his best attack, was starting."


"His countdown to Nova Driver (which was his best attack) was starting."

irvineoneohone Fri 28-Oct-16 19:50:10

Thank you.
One of ds' teacher said once, that education is learning for both children and parents. It's really true! I feel like learning new things more now than when I was a child.

ImperialBlether Fri 28-Oct-16 19:52:22

Oh yes, I learned loads when my kids were in school!

Ferguson Tue 01-Nov-16 20:04:54

Hi -

You may find this useful (and amusing) :

David Crystal is probably THE authority on English. And Lynne Truss also is useful.

irvineoneohone Wed 02-Nov-16 06:24:11

THank you, Ferguson.

Maims100 Wed 02-Nov-16 07:26:56

Yes, in this sentence, an em dash can replace commas. The dash should be long (longer than a hyphen or en dash) with no finger spaces between the words on either side.

hairygodmother Wed 02-Nov-16 07:38:54

For the purposes of KS2, for clauses like this, children would probably be encouraged to use commas here and not dashes.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Wed 02-Nov-16 10:51:03

I'd use commas

irvineoneohone Wed 02-Nov-16 10:59:29

Thank you.
My ds is in yr4, so in general, is it better to use comma rather than dash at this stage?
I'm not sure he learned the use of dash from school or he picked it up from book or something.
Maybe better to check with the teacher? Or should I just encourage him to use comma instead?

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