1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Fourth period needed after a three dot ellipsis?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 17, 2014.

    If a sentence ends in a three-dot ellipsis, do we place another period after it, outside the ending quote marks?

    Example:

    This?
    "Trends indicate a significant shift in income ...".

    Or this?
    "Trends indicate a significant shift in income ..."

    Or are the three dots sufficient and the fourth period is not needed?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The quote mark always goes outside the fourth dot in any sentence ending in an ellipsis.

    The fourth dot is not part of the ellipsis. It's a period (full stop) to end the sentence, or the sentence fragment if a speaker is trailing off in a dialogue sequence. The ellipsis represents the unfinished part of the speaker's sentence.

    The period can be replaced by a question mark or an exclamation mark, as needed. But any sentence must end with one of the three.

    So—three dots for the ellipsis, followed by one period or exclamation mark or question mark to signal the end of the sentence.

    "Trends indicate a significant shift in income . . . ."
    Or
    "Do these trends indicate a significant shift in income . . . ?"

    An ellipsis with only three dots can only appear in the middle of a sentence—whether it's a quotation or not.

    "Do these trends indicate a significant shift in income . . . or are they meaningless?"

    Quotation marks always appear AFTER any punctuation mark that ends a portion of dialogue.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thank you.
     

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