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Informal Writing: Using Dashes

In this worksheet, students practise using dashes to join clauses in informal writing.

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'Informal Writing: Using Dashes' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   English

Curriculum subtopic:   Punctuation: Commas, Hyphens, Parentheses & Dashes

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview


In this activity, we will be getting to grips with grammar, specifically how to use hyphens.



1. Two clauses can be written as separate sentences.

I went to the cinema today. I didn't really like the film.


2. Alternatively, two clauses can be joined by a conjunction.

I went to the cinema today but I didn't really like the film.


3. However, If we want to link two clauses together as one sentence without conjunction we use either a semi-colon or a dash. 

I went to the cinema today; I didn't really like the film.

I went to the cinema today - I didn't really like the film.


dash is used as an informal way of joining clauses without a conjunction.

Using a semi-colon is the preferred way in formal English. However, for informal writing, such as an email to a friend, a semi-colon can look too serious so a dash is more appropriate.


Note that two independent clauses (clauses that make sense on their own) should never be joined with a comma. This is a common mistake.

I went to the cinema today, I didn't really like the film. This is wrong!


Now, let's put this knowledge to the test.

Remember, you can always turn back to the introduction is you are struggling and need a reminder.


Want a bit more help with this before you begin? Why not watch this short video?

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