Results 1 to 2 of 2
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2004
    • Posts: 637
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Is the usage dash "--" okay in formal writing?

    Context:
    On the way, he spoke to us in a perfect native Tianjinese accent. We mentioned Mr.Chern, and he reacted at once --

    "Chen Shengshen? A great mathematician, wonderful! Every Tianjinese who has ears knows him! What a talent he is!"

    In "at once -- ", I used "--", not "-". Is it okay?

  1. Mister Micawber's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 1,855
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Is the usage dash "--" okay in formal writing?

    Fancy meeting you here, MH--

    The m-dash is frowned upon in formal writing (essays, theses, business letters, etc.) but you are, I believe, translating fiction or a popular narrative, in which the m-dash is perfectly acceptable-- indeed is often preferable-- to the colon for dramatic effect.

    The n-dash is not used in this situation; it is for use between numbers (69-70), etc. Remember not to leave a space at either end of them-- although I do.

Similar Threads

  1. How can I express this writing direction thing?
    By Eway in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-Feb-2009, 21:29
  2. how can we make writing subject more interesting?
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-Nov-2008, 08:26
  3. Formal Letter Writing
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-Nov-2004, 22:12
  4. 1 question.
    By Atesttaker in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 31-May-2004, 15:51
  5. I WANT TO STRAT WRITING
    By kutekool_22 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Mar-2004, 14:14

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •