Which one?

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PlacidRan

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"M--may I help you, sir?"

or

"M--May I help you, sir?"

Also, would a hyphen work instead of a dash (just out of curiosity)?

Example: "M-May I help you, sir?"
 

tedtmc

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"M--may I help you, sir?"

or

"M--May I help you, sir?"

Also, would a hyphen work instead of a dash (just out of curiosity)?

Example: "M-May I help you, sir?"

What is the 'M' doing in front of the sentences?:-?

not a teacher
 

chester_100

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M--may I help you, sir?

or

M--May I help you, sir?


I think that's used to show hesitation. By capitalizing the first letter, you've started the sentence, and it's not necessary to capitalize the first letter after a hyphen. But I'm not sure if it's ok to use two hyphens that way.
Structurally, the first part is an interjection. Here's an example:
-Aha, you did yourself!
-M-m-m, may I help you sir?


Also, would a hyphen work instead of a dash (just out of curiosity)?

Example: M-May I help you, sir?
Of course not. Hyphens are exclusively used for morphological divisions (compounding), not for sentential ones.
C
 

tedtmc

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-M-m-m, may I help you sir?

Aha, I see what what you mean now.
But I don't think you can have this in written English.
Double hyphen is also unheard of.
 

PlacidRan

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That's not supposed to be a double hyphen, but thanks anyway.
 

chester_100

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Aha, I see what what you mean now.
But I don't think you can have this in written English.
Double hyphen is also unheard of.

[FONT=&quot]How about:[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]-Mmm[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Or [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]-Hmm[/FONT]
 

tedtmc

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[FONT=&quot]How about:[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]-Mmm[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Or [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]-Hmm[/FONT]

Yes, those interjections. They are accepted words in Scrabble.
 
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