Ali Ahmadi
What is "-" character at end of some word in English?

Hello everyone.

Take a look at this sentence :

...getting on the scale- and seeing that I`v lost a pound even though I had a big meal the day before.

Pay attention to "-" character at end of "scale". What does it mean?

Apr 16, 2017 12:29 PM
Comments · 7

The dash "-" is there to separate the first clause.

A clause is a part of a sentence, a clause is comprised of a Verb (i.e. getting) and an object (i.e. scale).

However, this is not common at all in English literature; I personally have never used it, nor seen it.

http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/punctuation/what/fourteen-punctuation-marks.html

April 16, 2017

And Richard is right too. A hyphen is short and part of a word that's not fully been integrated into the language as a full word yet (like " re-educate" as opposed to "reeducate"-- that might be right nowadays, I'm not entirely sure, but they're other examples if I'm wrong. I'd personally write re-educate only because it looks better.) 

A dash is much longer, like Richard says, and sort of acts like a paratheses, it's not an aphostrophe like I said above, sorry to have to correct it (I had to use the German word for "parentheses"  to remember the English word-- I speak German, but forgot the English word. Geez). But all these dumb English grammar rules are just that------dumb (that was a dash). Or I could have just done one of these " :  "

By comparison, German grammar, though not simple, is much more logical and predicable than English. And German has no adversion to long compound words, like English does for some reason. Even though I'm a native speaker of English, I'm no fan of it. I find it terribly annoying that English has become the Lingua Franca too.  It's grammar rules are not nealry as easy as everyone makes them out to be, the spelling is totally illogical and requires flat out memorization; it's a  mishmash, and English is terribly reluctant to adopt new words from other foreign languages (because English speakers are too lazy about learning foreign languages and are used to speaking English everywhere in the world) and it's never pronounced how it written. 

April 17, 2017
That's "dash" in English ("-") and for some reason I've never understood, it's disfavored in English. For some reason people like apostrophes (...... ) instead better,, at least in the US. I use dashes all the time. Not sure why, I just think they look better. But in your sentence you wouldn't use a dash anyway.  There's some English grammar rule on it I frankly forgot (learned in college).  But it's such a trivialality, it's totally unimportant anyway. 
April 17, 2017

That's not standard as far as I know. I never use it. What I do use is '(' and ')'. For example: I got on the scale yesterday (I really shouldn't have eaten an entire cake first!) and I was up 2 pounds.

I have a feeling the '-' was used as a way to create a pause.  My use of () is also probably frowned upon from an academic standpoint, but I use it when conversing via email or other text messages to signal an aside or something I would pause and explain. If you remove the part between the () from the sentence, it should still make sense. If I was writing a 'proper' essay or something I would put the part in () before the sentence as a separate sentence. i.e. when speaking it signals something I forgot to mention, but when writing a 'proper' text I would be able to go back and write it first.

April 16, 2017

I've  never seen this construction.

The - is not a dash, it's a hyphen and hyhens do not have spaces on either side of the hyphen.

Dashes are larger than hyphens.

hyphen... X-X

en-dashes do have spaces on both sides of the dash... X  X

em-dashes do not have spaces before or after the em-dash... X<em style="border: 0px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 15.3px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 0);">—</em>X

The em-dash and the en-dash are used to separate a sentence where there is an interruption that disrupts the flow.

Regardless of whether the author meant to use a hyphen or a dash, the sentence does not require either because it uses the conjunction 'and'.

The foregoing explanation may not apply if there is more of the original sentence before the "gettiing on the scale..." part.


April 16, 2017
Show more