When to Use an En Dash (Quick Quiz)

Last updated Feb 18, 2024
By Gwenydd Jones

Hey there, grammar gurus and punctuation pals! I see you’re wondering about when to use an en dash. Good for you to be so curious. Our quick quiz will have you sorted in no time. Ready to sprinkle some en dash magic into your writing?

Ever wondered if it’s to or and en dash in your sentence? Do you get en dashes confused with hyphens? Fear not! We’ll unravel the mysteries of this little line that’s more than just a hyphen’s cooler sibling.

With this quiz, you’ll be en-dashing through your sentences like a punctuation pro in no time! Ready, set, let’s en dash!

Suricata with a thinking bubble that says: “when do you use an en dash?”

DISCLOSURE: We sometimes review or link to products and services we think you might find helpful. Wherever possible we use referral links. This means if you click one of the links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission or other compensation.

Quiz on when to use an en dash

In which of the following circumstances is it correct to use an en dash?

  1. As parenthetical dashes.
  2. In an adjectival compound before a noun.
  3. To reflect ranges of numbers.
  4. To replace a colon.
  5. For presentation purposes to space out a title.

Bonus question: how do you type an en dash?

Scroll down for the answers.

Our top pick
The Best Punctuation Book, Period: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Writer, Editor, Student, and Businessperson
$14.00 $12.33

What we think: If you need help with confusing punctuation marks, this book has you covered.

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/21/2024 06:04 am GMT

Quiz answers

  1. Correct. If you use an en dash as a parenthetical dash, put spaces around it.
  2. Wrong. That’s the job of a hyphen.
  3. Correct. Put it between the numbers without a space: 1–5.
  4. Wrong. Sometimes an em dash can be used for this purpose.
  5. Wrong. Lots of people do this but it isn’t actually what an en dash is for.

And as for the bonus question …

How to type an en dash

Typing an en dash is simple and you can do it on most keyboards. Here are the steps for different platforms:

How to type an en dash on Windows

1. Ensure your Num Lock is on.

2. Hold down the “Alt” key.

3. While holding down “Alt,” type “0150” on the numeric keypad.

4. Release the “Alt” key, and the en dash should appear.

How to type an en dash on Mac

1. Use the shortcut “Option” + “hyphen” (located between “0” and “=” keys).

2. Press and hold the “Option” key, then press the hyphen key.

3. Release both keys, and you’ll have your en dash.

How to type an en dash on Linux

1. Press “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “U.”

2. Type “2013” and press “Enter.”

3. The en dash should now be on your screen.

For many word processors and text editors, you can also use a specific keyboard shortcut or the Insert Symbol menu to find and insert an en dash easily.

Now you’re armed and ready to en dash your way through your writing!

Want to be a certified expert on using the en dash and all its punctuation friends?

Check out our punctuation course below!

Best Punctuation Course
Punctuation Pro – Certificate in Punctuation

Get a certificate in punctuation!

  • Learn punctuation fast
  • Get confident
  • Build up your CV to impress clients

Written by Gwenydd Jones

Gwenydd Jones is a Spanish- and French-to-English translator, an SEO blogger and a course creator. She is the founder of The Translator's Studio and the lead teacher on its courses. Connect with Gwenydd on LinkedIn or contact her through this website.

You may also like …

How Do You Format Titles of Works?

How Do You Format Titles of Works?

If you need to format titles of works, there are simple rules to follow. Do you need italics, inverted commas or underline for a book title? Find out in our quiz (with answers and explanations). Italics, inverted commas or underline for titles of works? In the quick...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *