I love Italian food, especially spaghettin (Hyphen / comma)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Novich, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Novich Senior Member

    Castellano, Argentina
    Hello !

    Do these sentences have a difference between them? (Uses of dash) :eek:

    * I love Italian food, especially spaghetti.

    * I love Italian food - especially spaghetti.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  2. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
    Apart from the typo in the hyphenated sentence (foof/food) I see no difference between the sentences.

    My fault - because the sentence was presented with a dash I thought it looked OK. Richard is absolutely right in terminology - the symbol is a dash, not a hyphen.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  3. rafacal

    rafacal Senior Member

    Cerritos, California, USA
    Español (Colombia)
    Definitely, coma yes, hyphen no
     
  4. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    A hyphen and a dash are different symbols. A dash is longer than a hyphen (and to get really technical, an em dash is longer than an en dash). In this circumstance, you would not use a hyphen at all; you would use a dash (specifically, an em dash). In typing, you would create an em dash by typing two hyphens together with no space between them. In modern word processors, like Word, typing two hyphens together with no space between them will automatically create an em dash (at least in the English set up).

    The difference between using a dash and a comma is that a dash indicates an interruption in the thought, something stronger than a comma would indicate. In very formal writing, dashes are discouraged since a careful writer should think out what he has to say and not interrupt the text as though he just thought of something. In less formal writing and in casual writing, dashes are more appropriate.

    In the example given in the original post, the meaning would be the same whether a dash or comma were used but the comma would be better style. There's no need for the dash there.

    Here is a link to a discussion of dashes:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dash
     
  5. jkfnp New Member

    English - United States
    "The difference between using a dash and a comma is that a dash indicates an interruption in the thought, something stronger than a comma would indicate. In very formal writing, dashes are discouraged since a careful writer should think out what he has to say and not interrupt the text as though he just thought of something. In less formal writing and in casual writing, dashes are more appropriate."

    This is a really helpful way to think about when a dash is appropriate (or not). Thanks!
     

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