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Thread: use of em dash

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 65
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    #1

    use of em dash

    Dear all,

    Could you please check the sentence below:
    The conditions of the area stem from an uncommon–-and unique for Ukraine’s territory–-formation history
    What I would like to know:
    1. Is the em dash used here properly?
    2. Is it clear that the formation history is unique only for Ukraine's territory?
    3. Would the sentence sound better (or worse) if I put it like this (to emphasize the limitation):
    The conditions of the area stem from an uncommon–-and for Ukraine’s territory, unique–-formation history

  1. BobK's Avatar
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      • English Teacher
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      • English
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    #2

    Re: use of em dash

    If you want to use your word order, you need another comma - in 'and, for Ukraine's territory, unique'. But I think the original order is better because the two adjectives come together. The em dashes are OK as markers of the parenthesis, you could, of course, use parentheses ("()"). In current British publishing practice, the em dashes should be separated from the words they separate with spaces; in US practice - last time I had to deal with it - the spaces aren't needed.

    b

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
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    • Posts: 65
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    #3

    Re: use of em dash

    Thanks for your help, BobK!

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