Thread: "PREPOSITIONAL PROBLEM" and "SUSPENSION POINTS"

1. Junior Member
Join Date
Apr 2006
Posts
80

"PREPOSITIONAL PROBLEM" and "SUSPENSION POINTS"

Hello!. How is everybody? Fine? That´s good, really good! Just two questions.

1.- "The virus was "in" my chest and throat". I´ve always heard
the preposition "on" with chest, and "in" with throat, not?.
But I think it sounds really bad if I say "The virus was "on"
my chest and "in" my throat". So, I would like to know if
the first sentence was right. "The virus was IN my chest
and throat". What happens if we´ve got two nouns and
each of them needs a different preposition?

2.- First, "Do you call (...) "suspension points"? I am not sure.
And now, the following sentence related to that.

Imagine a killer at his home.

The sentence: "The man laughed at the victims trapped
inside...Cleverly selected before"

Do I mean with these
"suspension points" "The victims were cleverly selected
before"?. I omitted part of the sentence "The victims were"
to mean that. Did I get it?. Or do I need, for instance,
the conjunction and---"The man laughed at the victims
trapped inside and cleverly selected before"?. Or maybe I
need to say the whole sentence: The man laughed at
the victims trapped inside. They were cleverly

Thanks a million!.

Have a magical Friday night!

2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,168

Re: "PREPOSITIONAL PROBLEM" and "SUSPENSION POINTS"

'in' is fine in the first case as the virus is literally in the chest. When two prepositions are required, use them both, but I don't think this is the case here.
... = ellipsis

3. Re: "PREPOSITIONAL PROBLEM" and "SUSPENSION POINTS"

The ellipsis as a punctuation mark is not -- and this is the confusing bit -- used in most elliptical sentences.

By "elliptical sentence" I mean a sentence that has bits missing but which are clearly understood.

For example, take these two sentences:

I could have turned left. I could have turned right.

I can combine them with "or":

I could have turned left, or I could have turned right.

But I might want to avoid repeating "I could have turned"; I can write an elliptical sentence:

I could have turned left or right.

I don't use the ellipsis here. An ellipsis, though, is appropriate if I am quoting someone else's exact words, but leaving some out for the sake of brevity or clarity. To indicate this, I use an ellipsis:

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily ... is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

That's from Shakespeare, but it's not a complete quote. The ellipsis marks the place where I left out a huge chunk. The full quote is:

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.

The ellipsis is used so that nobody can accuse me of misquoting Shakespeare.

Another use of the ellipsis is as a literary device. It doesn't just indicate a pause (as many people think); it indicates a pause that is meaningful: something important is implied or simply missing:

I heard a noise behind me. I turned and I saw... Oh, it was terrible!

It can also indicate an interruption, although a dash is usually a better choice:

"Look, the problem is, I think..."
"No, the problem is, you don't think."

Again, it indicates that something is missing, but we can't work out from the grammar alone what that missing thing is.

4. Junior Member
Join Date
Apr 2006
Posts
80

Re: "PREPOSITIONAL PROBLEM" and "SUSPENSION POINTS"

Hi! Thanks a million!

This is ironic:

"I´m dying, dying... to live forever" Would you think
of it as an ellipsis? In that case, is it well-used?

Jesús

5. Junior Member
Join Date
Apr 2006
Posts
80

Re: "PREPOSITIONAL PROBLEM" and "SUSPENSION POINTS"

Hi, it´s me again. I was thinking about another one in an ironical sense too.

A wife to her husband:

"You always come back home... Late, late at night, of course!"

First, I don´t know if it makes sense. I think so.

If so, would you use "ellipsis" or not?

If not, What about ironical sentences then?
Better a "full stop" than an "ellipsis"?

Thanks again!

Jesús

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