Meet the “Ellipses” — not from the Geometry Class!

The Ellipsis (), informally known as dot-dot-dot has its origin in the Greek language. Its plural form, Ellipses means to “leave out” without changing the original meaning of the sentence. And that’s exactly what it does — it’s used either to show that a thought is either left incomplete or to quote only a part of what someone has said.

How many dots are there in an Ellipsis?

As a rule of thumb, it’s three. However, if an ellipsis follows a complete sentence, then it will have a period followed by three dots which will make it look like four dots.

Example: “I can’t deny the fact that you performed rather well. Considering that the prop didn’t support efficiently. Bravo.”

can be shortened as

“I can’t deny the fact that you performed rather well. … Bravo.”

Ellipsis and spacing

There are two ways of doing ellipsis — either add a single space between the three dots (. . .) or treat the ellipsis as a three-letter word with a single space on either end ( … ). You can adapt either style, just ensure that you use it consistently throughout the document.

Other uses

The ellipsis is versatile and its use is not just limited to English grammar, it often shows up as:

  • The vertical ellipsis (⋮) in mobile, web, and general application design
  • In mathematics when you want to write a huge range of numbers. Example: 1,2,3, … , 100 or to mention an infinite list, as in 1, 2, 3, …
  • In text messaging, ellipsis often indicates topic change, hesitation, disagreement, disapproval or confusion

Now that you know where the ellipse came from and how it helps us express our thoughts politely, take a pause and enjoy these cute illustrations of hilarious moments in the life of every cat owner.

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Meenakshi Harpanahalli

Meenakshi Harpanahalli

Works at Niyo

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