The Ellipsis Mark

• The ellipsis mark consists of three spaced periods, beginning with a space before the first period ( . . . . ). Use the ellipsis mark to show that you have deleted material from a quotation.

Smithsonian reports that "views of nature . . . . make a significant difference in intensive care units."

• If you delete a full sentence or more in the middle of a quoted passage, use a period and then use the three ellipsis marks. (. . . . )

• Do not use an ellipsis at the beginning of a quotation; do not use it at the end of a quotation unless you have deleted some of the final sentence quoted.

• Use a full line of spaced periods to indicate that you have dropped a line or more from a poem:

Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime.

But at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near;

—Andrew Marvell

• The ellipsis mark also indicates a hesitation or suggests an unfinished thought or comment. Since the ellipsis represents the end of the sentence, do not begin the ellipsis with a space.

Before the telephone went dead, I heard her scream, "He's coming through the. . . ."

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