1. rylotajo
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    rylotajo Member

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    Ellipses-HELP!

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by rylotajo, Apr 9, 2009.

    Okay, I need to know the proper way to use ellipses (...) at the end of a sentence. Now, I know how to use it in a sentence, but when it comes at the end, does it always require an ending punctuation, or is the (...) good enough?

    I have visited so many websites with each one contradicting the other. Some say if it is used at the end of the sentence, and the word is trailing off, then the (...) is fine, but if you are omitting words, then it is required to use (...) and then an ending punctuation, like another period.

    I'm just a bit confused about what the truth is. Can someone please help me...? :D
     
  2. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    At the end of a sentence, you have to use the 4-dot ellipsis according to E.B. White's Elements of Style, which is a book required by nearly all English classes in high school and college.

    If, however, you're floundering off dialogue, it's a three dot ellipsis. Here's an example of the two and how they work differently.


    "Marsha went to the post office on Monday morning. She got stamps, envelopes, and some folders."

    This is the four dot ellipsis. "Marsha went to the post office....She got stamps, envelopes, and some folders." Four dot ellipsis are generally only used when you're trying to shorten a long quote by moving on from one sentence to another quickly.

    A three dot ellipsis example with this phrase:
    "Marsha went to the post office on Monday morning and purchased stamps, envelopes, and a few folders."
    Three dot ellipsis: "Marsha went to the post office...and purchased stamps, envelopes, and a few folders."

    Do you see the difference? A four dot ellipsis is used when you go from the middle of a sentence to the beginning of another sentence. A three dot ellipsis is used when you're breaking up a single sentence.

    Hope this helps :)

    ~Lynn
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If words are left off at the end of a sentence, and that is all that is omitted, indicate the omission with ellipsis marks (preceded and followed by a space) and then indicate the end of the sentence with a period … . If one or more sentences are omitted, end the sentence before the ellipsis with a period and then insert your ellipsis marks with a space on both sides. … As in this example. A coded ellipsis (used in the construction of this page) will appear tighter (with less of a space between the dots) than the use of period-space-period-space-period.

    When words at the beginning of a quoted sentence are omitted, it is not necessary to use an ellipsis to indicate that words have been left out when that fragment can fit into the flow of your text. An exception: in a blockquoted fragment, use an ellipsis to indicate an omission:


    from http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/ellipsis.htm
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't see this making any sense, since there seems to be no need for the ellipsis to be there at all... there doesn't seem to have been any elision [if that's what you meant by 'moving on...(etc.)' and even if there had been, then there should be a space after the final dot, since it would be functioning as a period at the end of a sentence... if that's not what you meant, then i have no idea why one would be used just to move from one sentence to another...

    and, in case that wasn't a typo, the plural of 'ellipsis' is 'ellipses'...

    here's a good rundown on the pesky li'l thing, from jack lynch's eminently helpful rutgers site:

     
  5. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I have it figured out using Elements of Style & Architectus's link.

    Use 3 dots at the end of the sentence to show a trailing off of thought. For example:
    Use 4 dots to indicate that there is additional material that you've omitted:
     
  6. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    Mammamaia, mine was an *exaggerated* example. And thank you, actually. I had no idea what the plural form of ellipsis was...I was like is this right? when I was typing it. So yay for learning something.
     
  7. rylotajo
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    rylotajo Member

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    I think I get it now!

    Thank you so much everyone, I think I finally understand it. It's just difficult trying to nail down a specific description and definition. Maybe I'm ellipsis impaired, :confused:I don't know, but I think I finally get it now.
     
  8. rylotajo
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    rylotajo Member

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    Simplistic

    The explanantion in the link was pretty simplistic and it helped to clarify the differences, thanks so much!:D
     
  9. rylotajo
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    rylotajo Member

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    Thanks!

    I think I have a handle on it, thank you for the examples!:D
     

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