What You're Not Saying … Ellipsis Points
Ellipsis points or marks (three spaced periods) let readers know that some material from a quotation has been omitted. Look at this sentence:
If you needed to quote that sentence but the part about Frank picking up the hat had no relevance to what you were saying, you could use ellipsis points in this way:
You should use ellipsis points only if the meaning of the sentence isn't changed by what you omit.
Suppose you have this sentence:
You shouldn't use ellipsis marks to shorten it this way:
In doing so you would've left out some rather vital information.
If the material you're omitting occurs at the end of a sentence, or if you omit the last part of a quoted sentence but what is left remains grammatically complete, use four ellipsis points, with the first one functioning as a period. Take this original passage:
You could use ellipsis marks in these ways:
Another use for ellipsis marks comes if you're quoting someone and trying to show that there's a deliberate pause in what the person said. Read the following paragraph:
The ellipsis marks tell your readers that they're reading all of Jimmy's thoughts and that Jimmy wasn't interrupted by anything, he just didn't have any conscious thoughts in the intervening time indicated by the ellipsis marks.