Can I start a sentence with "em dash"?

Ahmed Al Saady

Senior Member
Hi, everyone!
I hope everything's alright.
Can I start a sentence with "em dash"?
I.e., can I say
"His entire life—he feared falling in love with a woman until he'd met her"
instead of
"He feared falling in love with a woman—his entire life—until he'd met her"?
Thank you very much!
Last edited:
  • Ahmed Al Saady

    Senior Member
    Neither of your sentences begin with an em dash :confused::confused:, but they don't seem to make any sense as they stand.Can you please provide context, as we always plead?

    As a side note, I suggest you check your use of alright hjere: alright - Dictionary of English
    First and foremost,
    thank you very much for the explanation and the link,
    and I hope you'll excuse the miswriting of the question I've typed.
    Well, generally, learning something new is a wonderful thing,
    which is why I'm here, so that I learn, from good teachers like you, how to write English correctly.
    Anyway, it means that I cannot say, for instance,
    1. "I don't know?—maybe she likes the way he writes."
    instead of
    2. "Maybe she likes the way he writes—I don't know?"
    I.e., I cannot use "em dash" the way I did in the sentence number 1, can I?
    Thanks again!


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    There are no strict rules for the dash. In dialogue I use it for a person breaking off suddenly; this might be at the end of a complete sentence, or in the middle of one. Then another person might speak, or the first speaker might continue. If they continue, what they say next might or might not be a continuation of the first sentence. The only impact of this is whether that new part begins with a capital letter. When I write dialogue, sometimes I have trouble deciding, and recently I went through some old writing changing my choices. So, do what you like with it: there is nothing in English style or conventions that stops you.
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