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Ellipsis Points

Ellipsis Points


1. Use ellipsis points to mark omissions from quoted material and pauses in a written passage.

When you leave out words in a direct quotation, you must use three ellipsis points (three periods with spaces between them) to show where the words were left out. You can use ellipsis points for words left out at the beginning, middle, or end of a quotation.

ORIGINAL 
  • Mr. Conrad explained, “Not all birds can fly. Penguins have wings, but they cannot fly. Instead, penguins swim underwater by using their wings.” 
OMISSION 
  • Mr. Conrad explained, “Not all birds can fly. Penguins have wings, but they . . . swim underwater by using their wings.” [Three ellipsis points show where the words cannot fly. Instead, penguins have been left out of the quotation.]

NOTE

Ellipsis Points Note

When you omit the first word of a sentence, capitalize the new first word of the sentence. Then, put brackets around the capital letter to show that the word was not capitalized in the original sentence. 

EXAMPLE 
  • “Not all birds can fly. . . . [P]enguins swim underwater by using their wings.”

Use three ellipsis points ( . . . ) with spaces between them to indicate a pause in written dialogue. Speakers sometimes pause for dramatic effect or because they are hesitating. When you write dialogue, ellipsis points show a dramatic or hesitant pause by the speaker. 

EXAMPLE
  • “So . . . you decided to cut your hair?”Greg remarked. [The pause between Greg’s words is shown by three ellipsis points.]
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Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎

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