# German dashes: VR-Technik und --Methoden

I want to write VR-Technik und -Methoden. How many dashes should i use in the different places?

I'm pretty sure VR-Technik is correct, as would be VR-Methoden.

• Should i write VR-Technik und --Methoden, because i want to connect the words?
• Should i write VR-Technik und -Methoden, because it's VR-Methoden?

Explanation for the different dashes

Informationen über Verbindungsstriche (weitere Informationen klick)

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-- is a Gedankenstrich, - is a Bindestrich and a Trennstrich, so it must be VR-Technik und -Methoden –  clemens Sep 1 '14 at 8:24
Better "~Methoden to avoid a break after the hyphen. Or "~Me"-thoden if you want to allow hyphenation in the word. –  Ulrike Fischer Sep 1 '14 at 8:25
I think that one of the two of you should make it an answer. –  yo' Sep 1 '14 at 8:28
@SebastianSchmitz your two sources contradict each other in the definition of Bindestrich - I would go with the second source. Which then makes cgnieder's and UlrikeFischer's answers correct. –  greyshade Sep 1 '14 at 8:39
The german Duden has a section at the beginning focussing not only on the various kinds of dashes but also other stuff and how it should be typeset. Not all of this might be correct, but it is a good reference if one should ask »Where is this defined?« <- And this could happen ;-) –  Johannes_B Sep 1 '14 at 8:46

The double dash in German writing is reserved for the Gedankenstrich or the "bis" between two numbers. One dash is enough here, as it should be the same hyphen as in the first word.

As a rule of thumbs, you should not allow hyphenation which appears one syllable away from your hyphen (Divis in German). The - disables hyphenation in the rest of the word. Therefore I would insert a possible hyphenation point ("-) behind -Metho.

In the following example I am using luaLaTeX in order to use the nice package showhyphens. Without this package, you can run it with pdfLaTeX as well. Note: pdfLaTeX does not recognize that the first char in -Methoden should not be a breaking point. Therefore you have to disable that behaviour by writing "~Metho"-den. The credit goes to Ulrike. I wouldn't have noticed it as I don't use pdfLaTeX a lot.

% arara: lualatex

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[ngerman]{babel}
\usepackage{showhyphens} % just for demo. Leave this away and you can use pdfLaTeX

\begin{document}
VR-Technik und -Metho"-den
% VR-Technik und "~Metho"-den if used with pdfLaTeX
\end{document}


The following picture shows all possible breakpoints for our example.

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Out of interest: do you have some source for your rule of thumb or is it a personal (yet arguably reasonable) rule? –  clemens Sep 1 '14 at 14:59
@cgnieder I fear it's my own "rule". I will post something the moment I find a reference. The problem is that according to German grammar (Duden) it has to be Me-tho-den, but they don't care about typography. –  LaRiFaRi Sep 1 '14 at 15:38
Not surprising: the Duden records and describes how the language is used. It's not its task to worry about typography :) –  clemens Sep 1 '14 at 15:42
@cgnieder Just remembered where I got my rule in the first place. homepage.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/georg.verweyen/silbentrennung.html I am using this article a lot. –  LaRiFaRi Sep 1 '14 at 15:43
This inspired me to a new blogpost: niederberger.com.de/trennungsschmerz –  clemens Sep 2 '14 at 19:55