Would this sentence be correct:

I hope we get to know each other well, Brittney--through study dates, dinners, or events.

Basically, could I mix and match the comma and the emdash placements?

  • There's a lot of posts on em dashes and commas on English Language and Usage stack exchange --- you might find them helpful to read – AlannaRose Jan 15 at 18:47

In this case, yes --- but only in situations like these.

Specifically, you've used the em dash for emphasis.

A general guideline is that if you could replace the commas with parentheses, then you should not use both a comma and an em dash.


  1. Brittany (my mother) was liked by all
  2. Brittany, my mother, was liked by all

Those are valid, but using an em dash would be inappropriate.

The other guideline is if you can remove the aside and still have the em dash make sense, you can replace the comma (like I did in my first sentence of this answer.

  1. It was my fault, you see, for I never told you
  2. It was my fault, you see --- for I never told you
  3. It was my fault --- for I never told you
  4. It was my fault --- I never told you

In the last example I also removed the "for". It's using an em dash in place of a semi-colon, which does not require a conjunction, rather than solely for emphasis.

I'm not sure if my example #3 is grammatical; I'll come back to update after some additional research.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.