When and how to use dashes, ellipses, and hyphens

Dashes, ellipses, hyphens

When I’m editing, I often come across manuscripts in which writers used an ellipsis when they should use a dash or the other way around. Sometimes, I also see hyphens used instead of dashes. So here are some simple rules of thumb for when and how to use dashes, ellipses, and hyphens.   Ellipses An ellipsis consists of three dots. Style guides differ on whether there should be spaces between the dots of an ellipsis and before/after an ellipsis. The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) prefers spaced ellipses, with a space before and after the ellipsis. Use nonbreaking spaces …

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The 10 most common punctuation mistakes and how to avoid them in your writing

Today is National Punctuation Day, so I thought I’d celebrate by writing a blog post to help you avoid common punctuation mistakes in your writing. Punctuation mistakes might seem like a minor thing, but punctuation guides readers’ understanding and helps them read more smoothly. Sometimes, a single comma can even change the meaning of a sentence. So learning how to avoid these punctuation mistakes is definitely worth it, and it’ll make for a grateful editor too! 1. Don’t add commas wherever you pause to breathe in a sentence. I’ve heard that advice often, but it’s actually misleading. The rules are …

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