Ellipsis: Definition and Examples in Grammar

An ellipsis is commonly known as the omission of one or more words, which must be provided by the listener or reader for the sentence to be comprehended. It is the name of the punctuation mark (“…”) used to demonstrate the position of missing words in a direct quote. This mark can indicate a long pause or a speech trailing off.

Types of Ellipsis

Situational Ellipsis

Situational ellipsis is utilized in speaking and so is more informal in nature.

Textual Ellipsis

Textual ellipsis occurs in speaking and writing and is related to certain grammar rules, with the absence of words in predictable sentence positions.

Ellipsis Examples in Sentences

  • The man went out and washed his clothes. (“the man” has been deleted to avoid tautology)
  • Sorry for the inconveniences. (The subject “I am” has been deleted and it is used for the sake of convenience)
  • You can fool all the people some of the time…but you cannot fool all the people all of the time. (‘You can fool some of the people all of the time’ has been deleted)
  • Deliver us from evil…forever and ever, Amen. (‘For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory’ is omitted).
  • Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are…like a diamond in the sky. (‘up above the world so high’ has been omitted)