What is a dash?
A single dash can be used in a number of ways to link two sentences together.
1. A dash can be used to separate a list from its summary. The summary may come before or after a list.
There was a pool, a beach and a park - it was the best holiday ever.
It was the best holiday ever - there was a pool, a beach and a park.
My favourite kind of fruit is citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes.
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes - my favourite kind of fruit is citrus fruits.
2. The part of the sentence after the dash is often surprising or unexpected. The dash gives you a moment of suspense before the surprise.
She got home, put the kettle on and sat down - then she remembered.
There is was again, that creak on the staircase. Jenna sat bolt upright. Just
Marmalade her cat, she thought – or was it?
It was only when I squinted that I could see what lay at the bottom of the steps – bones. Lots of bones.
3. Sometimes you want to emphasise a particular word in a sentence by repeating it. If you do this, use a dash to separate the two identical words.
The jumper she made was full of mistakes – mistakes which you could see at a glance.
If one word can describe him, it is determination - determination to be the best that he can be.