Hi, I'm Heather Kamins for About.com, and I'm here to talk to you about how to use a dash.You can use dashes in the same way that you use parentheses, to set off an aside within a sentence. For example: the paint we chose--a beautiful shade of blue--arrived on Tuesday.You can also use a dash to introduce a list, a restatement, or a shift to add emphasis. For example: I was glad to be home--until I saw the letter waiting there for me. In those cases, dashes are often used in places of dashes or colons, and they do add a greater sense of emphasis. But it's important not to overuse them, or your writing can become choppy.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.