A Not-Very-Well-Known Dash Rule

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Dash Leave a Comment

Most reporters use the dash simply for that ever-present interruption. There are, however, grammar rules associated with the dash.

Here’s one:

When an indefinite pronoun follows ONE word and renames it, there is most often a comma.

When an indefinite pronoun follows MORE THAN ONE word and renames each word, there should be a dash.

…He took medications, some of which helped.
…He took medications, supplements, and vitamins — some of which helped.

…I brought cupcakes, all of which were a hit.
…I brought doughnuts, cupcakes, and banana bread — all of which were a hit.

…She brought her friends, each of whom contributed something.
…She brought her family and friends — each of whom contributed something.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

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