Dashes and Elipses BY: Lauren and Brynn

What are dashes used for in writing?


  • Formed by combining 2 hyphens (--)
  • No spaces are needed BEFORE or AFTER

UseD to:

  • Indicate a break in sentence structure
  • Indicate a break in thought
I love to read books--as long as they are mystery.
  • Separate two clauses
English is my best class--it comes very easy to me--because I understand the subject.
  • To show hesitation
Wh--wh--what? A puppy?

What is the purpose of ellipses in writing?


  • Formed by three periods (...)
  • Use a space BETWEEN the periods and BEFORE and AFTER the elipsis

Used To:

  • Indicate an excluded set of words from a sentence, a group of words from a longer quote, or part of a section from a longer section
So, they changed the law . . . I was trained day by day to become the next ruler . . .
  • Shorten a sentence
Someday, if I could just get a puppy, I would . . .
  • Add a slight pause
You want me to go . . . go in there?
  • Add dramatic effect
A dark room, dimly lit lights . . .
  • Add silence or pause
After all this time . . . I hadn't thought you would actually consider it.
  • Add an unfinished thought
You remembered? I didn't even know that you . . .


Dashes and elipses are used to indicate certain things in writing and also help structure writing. Dashes are two hyphens combined in writing to show a break in thought, hesitation, or to separate two clauses. Ellipsis are three periods used in writing to shorten sentences, add dramatic effect, add a pause, or show an unfinished thought. Without dashes and elipses, indications in writing would not exist and it would be difficult to understand the emotions that come from the context.

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