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The En Dash
Common Core: 11-12.L.2a

The En Dash

Author: Sydney Bauer

This lesson introduces the en dash and how it is used.

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En Dash

The en dash is the same width as the letter N, which is where it gets its name. Most word processors will automatically lengthen a hyphen into an en dash if you include a space before and after the hyphen. The en dash can be used to show various relationships between numbers and words.  

For the most part, the en dash is used to show limits in a range of numbers (dates, pages, time, amount, scores, etc.), or travel routes. 


Limitations in Numbered Ranges:

Dates 1066 – 1485

Pages 152 – 896

Time 1:00 pm – 1:00 am

Amount: 60 – 75 pounds

Scores: 5 – 47 or 10 – 11 

The en dash can also indicate that a route of travel connects two locations. The order in which the locations are listed indicates the order in which they will appear. 


The en dash is used instead of a hyphen when one part of an open compound is made of two words: 

Nobel Prize – winning (the en dash is better able to include "Nobel" in the phrase because a hyphen would  only emphasize the relationship between the two words to which it is directly connected). 


The en Dash