An ellipsis is when material is left out of a reproduction of a text or a speech. The term ellipsis is also used to refer to the series of periods that takes the place of the material that has been omitted from a text.
An ellipsis is typically punctuated by spacing out three periods-after the last word of the included text, there is a space, then three periods separated by a space. Finally, a space is put after the last period, and the text is continued.
Original Text from MLK's I Have a Dream:/p>
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
"I have a dream that one day ... the sons of former slaves ... and former slave owners will ... sit down together."
Original Text from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet:
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
"What light through yonder window breaks . . . It is my lady, o, it is my love!"
Original Text from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird:
When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn't have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt.
"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken . . . his left arm was somewhat shorter than his right ... he couldn't have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt."
Literary Terms Examples