Fun fact: the reason the en and em dashes have those names are because of their lengths. An em dash is about the length of the letter m, and an en dash (surprise) is the length of the letter n. Isn’t that fun? Now you have a conversation starter for cocktail parties.
The en dash is used when connecting ranges, and it replaces “to” in those ranges. You might have relatives aged 2–52, or a flight to catch from Austin–Detroit, or a baseball game that your team wins 4–2. In all of those circumstances, you would be using an en dash.
Need more grammar help? After you master all of the dashes and hyphens the world has to offer, check out my favorite tool, ProWritingAid, which helps find grammar problems and even generates reports to help improve my writing. ProWritingAid works with Word, Scrivener, Google Docs, and web browsers. Also, be sure to use my coupon code to get 25 percent off: WritePractice25
Write for fifteen minutes about someone running to catch a flight. Use hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes to describe what caused the delay, where they’re going, what bar they’re going to when they finally get to their destination. (Note: The comments box may not be able to distinguish between the three. Feel free to use a word processor and paste as needed.)