What is an Ellipsis?

An ellipsis is basically three dots. You may not have heard the word “ellipsis” before, but surely you’ve seen three dots used before in writing. The main way that these three dots can be used is to show that something has been omitted from a quotation.

Originally, a speaker said, “This is the time to act. This is the time to move. Right now.” Now, the writer of this paper wanted to include that quotation, however, they wanted to make the sentence shorter. They didn’t want to include the entire quotation, so they removed the part that says, “This is the time to move,” and put three dots in place of that phrase that has been removed from the quotation.

That shows the reader that something has been removed from the sentence, and this is not exactly how the original speaker said the sentence. Sometimes three dots can take the place of a paragraph, or a few sentences, or sometimes it just takes the place of a word or two. The important thing is not that you remember the term “ellipsis”, but just that three dots, when in a quotation, shows that something has been omitted from that quotation.



by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: February 21, 2022