Idiom: Every cloud has a silver lining.

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bmo

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Dear Teachers:

Please check in the following sentence whether the dash followed by seven years of ... should be replaced by a comma or semi-colon.

His brothers had sold him into slavery, and he was later put in prison. However, it was his prison connections that led Joseph to the Pharaoh for whom he successfully interpreted a coming dream - seven years of famine followed seven years of plenty. Brothers, don't give up easily as every cloud has a silver lining!

Thank you so much.
BMO
 

RonBee

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It should indeed be a dash there. (However, you have a hyphen there, not a dash.)

:)
 

bmo

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American heritage says the usage of dash as follows:

1. To set off a parenthetical clause,
2. To indicate a break in thought,
3. To mark an omission,
4. To mark a summing up,
5. To do the work of a colon

Which one of these applies to the case? Would a colon do the same job as a dash in the example?

Thanks. BMO
 

Tdol

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A colon would work there perfectly as it separates two versions of the same thing. ;-)
 

RonBee

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What Tdol said. (See #5 in the definition you supplied.)

:)
 

RonBee

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You're welcome.

:D
 
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