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German punctuation: Der Ergänzungsstrich/Der Gedankenstrich

Der Ergänzungsstrich/Der Gedankenstrich

Four German punctuation marks - quotation marks, the apostrophe, the comma and the dash - differ from their English counterparts in terms of how they are used.

Difference German usage English usage
Pauses, delayed continuation, contrast

* A dash or long dash indicates a pause, a delayed continuation or a contrast.

Beispiel:
Auf einmal - ein lautes Weinen!

* A dash or long dash indicates a pause, a delayed continuation or a contrast.

Example:
All of a sudden - a loud sobbing!

Change in speaker

* When there are no quotation marks, a dash or long dash indicates a change in speaker.

Beispiel:
- Aschenputtel, komm mal her!
- Ja, ich komme sofort!

* Generally, quotation marks indicate a change in speaker.

Example:
"Cinderella, come here!"
"Yes, I'm coming right away."

Prices

* A dash or long dash indicates an even price.

Beispiel:
€10,-

* A double zero or naught indicates an even price.

Example:
10.00 euros

Source: Grimm's Grammar