Ellipsis | When you Hear the Term “Ellipsis,” What do You Think?

Ellipsis: The name implies three periods used to signify absence, hesitation, and trailing in dialogue or line of thinking when omitted from quoted material. The spaces previously, between, and then after the periods should be present in an ellipsis. (…).

Ellipses (singular: ellipsis) are a type of punctuation used to demonstrate omitted phrasing within a sentence or paragraph or to imply a break in speech. Although the exact number depends on the context, they are most prevalently seen as a sequence of three dots (…).

In What Situations Should You Use Ellipses?

To illustrate omitted material in quotations

Ellipses are frequently used to shorten a quoted line of text or speech by inserting the ellipsis symbol after any unnecessary information or details (. . .). Anything at all, from a single phrase to several sentences, can be omitted.


The original quote was as follows:

Although it wasn’t a huge castle, it was beautiful nonetheless, with a marble staircase and gold-plated floors.

Elliptical Quotation Marks

Although it wasn’t a huge castle, it was beautiful nonetheless, thanks to the glass walls and gold floors.

There is no change in meaning if you remove the phrase “twenty fireplaces, a marble staircase.” Erroneous use of ellipses to remove quotation marks from a quote to alter its meaning.


The original quote was as follows:

A red glass bird to decorate my backyard was on my wish list, but I couldn’t find one.

Ellipses Have A Glaring Omission

A red… bird to place in my back garden was on my shopping list.

The preceding sentence is incorrect because it alters the original sentence’s meaning. Shortening it to “animal” implies that the speaker is looking for something alive, which isn’t indicated initially. Instead of using ellipses, how about this:

Ellipses Can Help You Find Mistakes You’ve Made Previously

“I wanted a glass bird for my backyard,” one customer said.

(2) In informal conversation, to show uncertainty or to pause

If you’re using ellipses to indicate natural pauses in spoken language, you’re probably already familiar with them from texting or online messaging. They can be used interchangeably with em-dashes (–) to indicate pauses and relatively shortstops in speech.


  • “I don’t think so,” she replied.
  • The answer is, “I don’t… That doesn’t seem possible to me.” For the sake of completeness, let’s use “I don’t–I don’t think that is possible.”

Both examples use the ellipses to show where the speaker would have naturally suspended while speaking if they were uncertain.

Ellipsis 1

For example, in James Joyce’s short story “Grace,” where em dashes and ellipses are used to hesitancy in a man’s speech cadence, this technique is frequently employed in literary or creative writing.


“Martin, tell me,” He said. While not referring to our current man or his predecessor, weren’t some of the previous popes a little less than…

How to Make a Simple Dot Diagram

Writing ellipses can be done in various ways, ranging from the number of dots (three or four) to the format (open or closed). Does it matter (…) if the dots are spaced apart or not (…)? The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) and the Associated Press (AP) are the two most common punctuation styles in the United States.

Closed or Unlocked

Both the Chicago and AP styles recommend leaving ellipses open. As a result of this, it can be said that (…) is acceptable while

Spaces should separate dots

According to the CMS, ellipses must be preceded, separated by, and followed by spaces according to the CMS However, and AP style does not include any extra spaces between the dots.

The Four-Dot Ellipsis is a mathematical formula.

Ellipse usually consists of three dots. A fourth dot is added if the omission occurs at the end of a sentence or if one or more complete sentences are omitted.


The original quote was as follows:

In the past, there was a princess who resided in a castle. Even though it wasn’t a huge castle, it had some excellent features, such as a marble staircase and gold-plated floors, and twenty fireplaces. Every morning, seagulls and dolphins came to say hello at the castle, which was right on the ocean.

End of Sentence Omission

This princess used to live in the castle, and she was beautiful. Every morning, seagulls and dolphins came to say hello at the castle, which was right on the ocean.

Leaving Out Several Sentences

Once upon a time, a princess lived on the ocean’s edge, where seagulls and dolphins would come to say hello every morning.

There is a distinction, but it is slight.

For the most part, the best practice is to stick with the same ellipsis form throughout your work (open, closed, spaced, no spaced).

To omit information at the start and end of quotes, use an ellipsis.

Use an ellipsis to indicate omissions in quoted material at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. A sentence with an error must be corrected by adding the appropriate punctuation (a period, a question mark, or an exclamation mark) before inserting the missing word and adding the ellipsis.

  • “… and I won’t be here until 5:15 p.m.,” Brandon said.
  • Kevin pointed out that “the college day…begins at 8:30 a.m. at all colleges.”
  • Jennifer explained that she was late because of “unforeseen circumstances.”

Complete quotations can be omitted by using an ellipsis.

To indicate that a complete sentence or paragraph has been omitted between sentences, use an ellipsis. Remember that the sentence before the ellipsis must be punctuated with an appropriate ending (a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point). While the information is still fresh in your mind, transcribe your notes… Finally, make sure to include a date in all of your correspondence.

  • Will we leave at the crack of dawn?” Kanika inquired. “… What kind of equipment should I bring?”

In dialogue, use ellipses to emphasize important points.

When writing fiction, use ellipses to show hesitation or a break in the flow of thought in dialogue or a thought train. When a sentence is deemed incomplete, only the ellipsis should be used. Use a period and an ellipsis to mark the end of a sentence.

  • Unless…could it be? The gloomy, clammy evening foretold stormy weather. …
  • Rachel was on the fence about going…
  • Rachel was on the wall about going…

How Many Dots Are There in a Square?

How many ellipses are there in a sentence? Three come to mind. A period must still be used after an ellipsis even though the sentence is grammatically complete. As a result, you’d have two periods separated by an ellipsis, giving the impression of four periods. As an illustration:

“I’m Jonah, by the way. My parents did or were on the verge of doing just that. “They recognized me as John,” I said.

This sentence could be condensed to

They called me John, so I’ll go by Jonah from now on.”


It’s a personal preference whether or not spaces are used between the dots. Every ellipsis point must have a space between it, according to the Chicago Manual of Style. According to the Associated Press Stylebook, an ellipsis should be treated as a three-letter word, with spaces on either side but no spaces between the dots in the word. Either style will work as long as your writing is consistent.

Ellipsis 2

As stated in the cited source

When working with quoted material, ellipses come in handy the most. Ellipses can be used in various ways, but this one is suitable for most professional and scholarly writing.

The examples that follow are taken from a passage in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

I learned this: if one moves confidently toward their goals and tries to live the life they have imagined, they will experience the success they did not expect during regular working hours. By leaving some things behind, he’ll cross an invisible line and be enveloped in the freedom of a higher order. Either that, or he’ll find that old laws have been liberalized to his advantage, and he’ll live with the privileges granted to those who have passed the invisible boundary. As he streamlines his life, the universe’s laws become less opaque, and solitude, poverty, and weakness cease to exist. If you’ve created sky castles, don’t worry about the vanishing. That’s precisely where they belong. Now it’s time to lay the foundations.

We are beginning a quotation with ellipses.

Even if a quotation begins in the middle of a sentence, ellipsis points are rarely required at the beginning of the quote. Changing the quotation’s first word’s capitalization to match the rest of the sentence is also acceptable. (As explained here, you should use brackets to indicate a change in capitalization.)


According to Thoreau, a success surprising in standard hours awaits those who move forward with confidence towards their goals. Thoreau also asserts that “the laws of the universe will appear less complex in proportion as he simplifies his life.”

A quote situated in the centre of a sentence is known as an interjection.

Never use ellipsis points to denote the start or end within a longer sentence, even if the quoted material’s beginning or end has been omitted.

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