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TalencentrumOnderdeel van Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


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TalencentrumVertalen en corrigerenStyle GuidePunctuation


streepje, trait d'union, Bindestrich

The dash is a long horizontal bar, noticeably longer than a hyphen, and has only one major use: a pair of dashes separates a strong interruption from the rest of the sentence. Sometimes the second dash is not written if a full stop comes to end the sentence.

The dash is never used in place of a hyphen, after a colon or after a heading.

There are two types of dash, the en dash (–) and the em dash (—).
The en dash is usually the one used. For more information about dashes, see Wikipedia.

The dash is also used when indicating ranges and can mean either ‘from’ or ‘between’.


  • X – Y means ‘from X to Y’ or ‘between X and Y’.
  • These fossils are 30 – 35 million years old.

Do not write ‘Steel contains from 0.1 – 1.7 % carbon’ or ‘Steel contains between 0.1 - 1.7% carbon’ as the dash includes the sense of ‘from’ or ‘between’.

Last modified:15 September 2017 9.00 p.m.