En Dash | When To Use En Dash Correctly?

En Dash: There are various punctuation marks used in English language and a proper knowledge of all of them can help you write anything is English accurately. One such mark is en dash. In English we use en dash in many instances but before reaching the exact topic of When To Use En Dash Correctly first of all, let’s know what en-dash is, how it looks, its history and many more so that before starting the topic, you have an exact base for the en dash.

En dash can also be called en rule or nut dash. And it’s half of the width of an em dash. Well, the size of the en dash is not standardised in modern fonts.

There are two most important uses of en dash and are mentioned below:

  • En dash is used to connect two ends of ranges or two alternatives like time and dates.
  • When two items are connected, and if the related items are more complex than again, an en dash is used as a substitute for a hyphen.

En Dash in English

Ranges of Values

To indicate a closed range of values, we used a punctuation mark, namely en dash. And the range is clearly defined, and it has finite upper and lower boundaries. Ranges between dates, times and numbers are included.

If you want to show the relationship between two things, we can also show it with the help of en dash.

What Is An En Dash? How To Use En Dash? What Is The Symbol (-) Called?

As en dashes are similar to hyphens and em dashes. It’s pretty challenging to make a difference between them. But the differences in their sizes and functions so, it helps in finding differences within en dash, em dash and hyphen. En dash is a punctuation mark that is symbolised as (–).

While writing, many writers or people use em dash or hyphen at the en dash. Usually, this happens online a lot as there is no specific key for the en dash. But sometimes it happens like we can’t use any other punctuation marks at the en dash.

An En dash is used when we want to show numbers or dates in ranges. The middle size dash, En dash, is shorter than Em dash and is longer than a Hyphen. When you want to make complex compound adjectives, you can use En dashes. The fact behind the name of En dash is its width is the same as that of the N alphabet.

Points To Ponder While Using En Dashes

It is used to show the connection between two words that cannot be joined together. If a sentence starts from between and from then, it’s strictly restricted to use en dashes.

For a time, dates, scores or any connected words, the en-dashes are used.

When to Use an En Dash for Dates and Time

We can use en dash in between numbers of time and dates. 2003-2020 we can write like this. It explains 2003 to 2020. While reading en dashes, you can read it as ‘to’. En-dashes can also be used in representing time like ‘2:00–6:00’. A few examples are given below on Use an En Dash for Dates and Time:

  • She passed away at an early age. She lived just 18 years (2003-2021).
  • In our school, 2016-2017 was the best batch in history.
  • The working hours of a professional writer are 7:00–10:00

While reading the above examples en dash interchanged ‘to’.

When to Use an En-dashes for Connections and Conflict

To connect two things into contact, then also we can use en dashes. Or it can also be used when we are opposing two words and want to connect them, and then an en dash can also be used. Some of the examples of using

En-dashes for Connections and Conflict:

The highway runs East-West.

High-short, at last everything, depends on Personality.

Girls–boys have equal rights.

When to Use an En-dashes for Compound Adjectives

Now en dash is used when one of Phrase is compound or already contains a punctuation mark, namely hyphen. We can connect two words by a hyphen If two simple words form an adjective. And to avoid this confusion, an en dash is used.

How Can You Write En dash in Mac and Windows?

Type option+minus(-) on your Mac, and like this, you can write En dash on your screen.

Hold down Alt and type 0150 on the numeric keyboard, and as soon as you release the Alt key, you can see En dash on your windows screen.

How To Use En Dash With Number And Date Ranges?

En dash is used when writing in mathematical or scientific languages as En dashes are used between the words to represent the words. When we include data, En dashes are also used in writing dates, times and page numbers.


She earns 7,000-8,000 per month.

By Tomorrow, you should have read pages 50-60.

Our full-time employees work 50-60 hours per week.

How To Use En Dashes With Scores And Directions?

En dashes are also used in sports scores, votes and directions.


The Nationals defeated the Mets 5–1 last night.

An Ahmedabad-Delhi flight takes about nine hours.

The classmates voted 10–9 in favour of a class monitor.

How to use Complex Compound Adjectives with an En dash?

When there is an open compound (it is made up of two words that have a space between them), one can use En dashes. When both the terms contain hyphenated terms, then also an En dash can be used. It is also used in capitalising proper nouns.


Anas only decorates with Qing Dynasty-style furniture.

I plan on wearing my mother’s Punjabi dress for my marriage.

How En Dash Functions in Word Processing Programs?

If you want to insert a proper En dashed into your writing, you can always use an Insert>Symbol function. Ctrl + Minus Key (with Num Lock enabled) is a shortcut in MS Word. Option/Alt + Hyphen or Minus Key (with Num Lock enabled) is a shortcut in pages.

When Not to Use an En Dash

The most common mistakes done by the writers or people while writing are they use en dashes in the setup of time and date, but actually, the en dash isn’t required there. At the place of en, dash word is needed to set up the dates and times. One more thing writers should keep in mind while using en dash to avoid mistakes is that whenever you write two numbers or two words and connect with an en dash, don’t leave space between them.

FAQ’s on En Dash

Question 1.
What is an en dash used for?

There are a total of two types of dashes. One is En dash, and the second is Em dash. En dash length is equal to the N alphabet, and Em dash length equals the M alphabet. When you want to mark ranges, then the shorter En-dashes are used. And En-dashes are represented as (–).

Question 2.
Do en dashes have spaces?

When we are representing dates, times or numbers, then en dashes are used. While using en dash, one should keep in mind that there must be no space between the en-dash and the adjacent number of adjacent words. If you are starting a range with words from or between, then do not use en dashes.

Question 3.
How do you use an en dash in a sentence?

There are basically four ways to use en dash in a sentence. You can use it to show a range of numbers, to show a period, to show distance between two places, and to show close. Lets check an example for each one of them:

  • To show a range of numbers, we can use en dash.


You have to pick a number from 0-100

The Solar System chapter lies between 50-90 pages.

I need 50,000 to 60,000 to buy a computer.

  • To show a period, we can use en dash.


I lived in Bhavnagar from 2002-2018.

The meeting will be held from

June 3-June 6 at the Hotel Click.

Our seminars will be from October 1-18, 2021.

  • To show distance, we can use en dash.


India-USA is a long flight.

We live on the DHAL ROAD-JUNAGADH area

  • To show a score, we can use en dash.


We won the competition of 20-19

At the end of the game, the scoreboard shows the score on the scoreboard was 5-10

Question 4.
How do you type an en dash and em dash in Google Docs?

If you want to type an en dash in Google Docs, then follow the following steps:

1 press Shift

2 Option

3 the minus key.

And for typing an em dash in Google Docs, then follow the following steps:

1 press the option

2 minus key.

So, like this, you can type en dash and also em dash on Google docs.

Question 5.
What Is The Difference Between A Hyphen And An En Dash?

To join a word or a part of words, a hyphen is used. And hyphen is shorter than en dash. An en dash is used to indicate a range or a pause.

This is all regarding en dash. We added an extra-base of an en dash, too, so that’s easy to understand for our audience.

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