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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default three or four dots?

    I was taught that it should be 'police are...'.

    Is a full stop needed after 'are'?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    Are you talking about the need for a period/full stop with an ellipsis?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    If you are talking about quotes, they normally do not end in ellipsis.

  4. #4
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Are you talking about the need for a period/full stop with an ellipsis?
    Hi Barb

    You are correct, but right now I can't think of a good sentence with ellipsis. Could you please help? However, the question is whether a period is need, making it four dots.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Hi Barb

    You are correct, but right now I can't think of a good sentence with ellipsis. Could you please help? However, the question is whether a period is need, making it four dots.

    Thanks.
    No. Since the ellipsis at the end of a sentence indicate the writer's thoughts trailing off or the writer leaving something unsaid, the full stop would be strange, no?

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    You do need the period to end the sentence as well as the ellipsis. If you look closely, the three dots to form the ellipsis have different spacing between them than the one that ends the sentence.

    From Ellipses

    2. When placing an ellipsis at the end of a quotation to indicate the omission of material, use four points -- a three-point ellipsis and a period. The ellipsis should follow a blank space.
    Incorrect: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law. . . abridging the freedom of speech. . ." U.S. Const. amend. I. Correct: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . ." U.S. Const. amend. I.


    And here: The Ellipsis
    If words are left off at the end of a sentence, and that is all that is omitted, indicate the omission with ellipsis marks (preceded and followed by a space) and then indicate the end of the sentence with a period … .

    Or the Chicago Manual of Style: An ellipsis at the end of a sentence with no sentence following should be followed by a period (for a total of four dots).
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You do need the period to end the sentence as well as the ellipsis. If you look closely, the three dots to form the ellipsis have different spacing between them than the one that ends the sentence.

    From Ellipses

    2. When placing an ellipsis at the end of a quotation to indicate the omission of material, use four points -- a three-point ellipsis and a period. The ellipsis should follow a blank space.
    Incorrect: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law. . . abridging the freedom of speech. . ." U.S. Const. amend. I. Correct: The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . ." U.S. Const. amend. I.


    And here: The Ellipsis
    If words are left off at the end of a sentence, and that is all that is omitted, indicate the omission with ellipsis marks (preceded and followed by a space) and then indicate the end of the sentence with a period … .

    Or the Chicago Manual of Style: An ellipsis at the end of a sentence with no sentence following should be followed by a period (for a total of four dots).

    Those rules are for quotations that end in ellipsis and are at the end of the sentence. If it's your own sentence, a period makes no sense.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    I was taught to put four dots at the end of a sentence if no other sentence followed, but I can't feel strongly about it in your own writing, though following the convention for quotation is recommended.

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: three or four dots?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I was taught that it should be 'police are...'.

    Is a full stop needed after 'are'?

    Thanks.
    It might have been less confusing if you had indicated in some way whether your example phrase/sentence was:
    I was taught that it should be 'police are...'. or
    police are ...
    That is, is "I was taught that it should be" part of your question, or part of the example?
    Assuming that the whole thing is the example, I'd write it as you have, but some would use four sequential dots: "I was taught that it should be 'police are....'" as Barb says.
    I don't think you could justify just the ellipsis with no period.

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