Ellipses are commonly used to indicate a sentence purposely left incomplete or the omission of a word, phrase, line, paragraph, or more from a quoted passage.
In a sentence, add a space before and after a three-dot ellipsis: She reported what the speaker said … and then followed up with her own comments.
If the words that precede an ellipsis make up a complete sentence, insert a period at the end of the last word before the ellipsis and follow it with a space before the ellipsis: The speaker said that he was happy to be running for office again. …
Ellipses are normally not used:
- before the first word of a quotation, even if the beginning of the original sentence has been omitted
- after the last word of a quotation, even if the end of the original sentence has been omitted, unless the sentence as quoted is deliberately incomplete
Note: An ellipsis is not three periods. To create an ellipsis:
- On a PC: Alt+0133
- On a Mac: option+semicolon
- HTML and XML code: See the HTML chart in the Appendix