Should I use ellipses in narration?

Asked by: Sarah Miller

In journalism or academic writing, you can use an ellipsis to show where you’ve left words out of a quotation. In narrative or dialogue, you can use it to show a pause or a trailing off. Some style guides distinguish between these two uses of ellipses by calling the second suspension points.

How do you use ellipses in a narrative?

In a dialogue or narrative, an ellipsis shows faltering speech or a pause. Take care, however, not to overuse this mark. Don’t use an ellipsis instead of a period unless a pause is meant to be meaningful to the reader or signify an incomplete thought.

Why do authors use an ellipsis?

They are used to indicate that material has been omitted from an exact quote. Ellipses can also indicate a pause or hesitation in thinking in creative writing.

Is it formal to use ellipses?

The ellipsis shows that you have left something out. You can also use an ellipsis to show a pause in speech or that a sentence trails off. This technique doesn’t belong in formal or academic writing, though. You should only use the ellipsis this way in fiction and informal writing.

Are ellipses acceptable in formal writing?

In formal writing, the most common way to use an ellipsis is to show that you’ve omitted words. For example, if you’re quoting someone and you want to shorten the quotation, you use ellipses to indicate where you’ve dropped words or sentences.

Can you use an ellipsis in a novel?

In fiction, the most common usage of the ellipsis is to indicate a trailing off (technical term: aposiopesis) and to build tension.

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Is it okay to use ellipses in dialogue?

Use Ellipses to Indicate a Disruption at the End of a Line of Dialogue. General Rule: Ellipses at the end of a line of dialogue indicate that the speaker faltered before completing his or her statement.

Why would an author use an ellipsis to omit words from a quote?

Use an ellipsis in the middle of a quotation to indicate that you have omitted material from the original sentence, which you might do when it includes a digression not germane to your point. However, take care when omitting material to preserve the original meaning of the sentence.

Is an ellipsis always 3 dots?

Another use for the ellipsis is to indicate that a sentence trails off, unfinished: “We thought the doors were locked, but just to be sure . . .” This type of terminal ellipsis always consists of three spaced dots, rather than four, with no space between the last dot and the closing quotation marks.

What is the difference between ellipsis and ellipses?

Ellipsis (singular) usually means three dots (periods or full stops) to represent the above omission. In other words, ellipsis means one specific punctuation mark composed of three dots. I deleted that ellipsis and replaced it with an em dash. Ellipses (plural, with an e instead of an i) is the plural of ellipsis.

Should there be a space before and after an ellipsis?

There should be no space between the ellipsis and the word.

What does 3 dots after a sentence mean?

Ellipsis points are periods in groups of usually three, or sometimes four. They signal either that something has been omitted from quoted text, or that a speaker or writer has paused or trailed off in speech or thought.

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Should there be a space after an ellipsis UK?

Ellipses should be spaced according to whether they indicate text precedes or follows the included text – do not include a space before an ellipsis if it directly follows written text, and do not include a space after an ellipsis if it directly leads into written text.

How do you use an ellipsis UK?

The ellipsis (…), also called omission marks or the suspension, has just two uses. First, the ellipsis is used to show that some material has been omitted from the middle of a direct quotation. Second, the ellipsis is used to show that a sentence has been left unfinished.