Ellipsis, a series of three periods
with spaces, is made on your PC by hitting space, period, space,
period, space, period, space. Ellipsis looks like this: . . .
To confuse matters further, I, as
do many teachers, do not ask my students to use ellipsis to
indicate omitted words at either the beginning or the end of a
sentence when quoted. However, I do want students to indicate
missing words from the middle of a sentence.
Common Uses of Ellipsis
When words are omitted within a
sentence you are quoting.
E.g., "And George . . . had a
little mental handicap radio in his ear." The original sentence
reads, "And George, while his intelligence was way above normal,
had a little mental handicap radio in his ear."
To indicate that a person
speaking has his or her voice trail off (as if the person is lost
in thought, for example).
E.g., "I was thinking about you the
other day . . . ."
Note here that there is an extra
period to indicate the end of the sentence.
To indicate a pause in a person
E.g., "I think . . . I think I'm
going to come with you after all!"
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