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  1. Member
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    #1

    Four dotted ellipsis or three dotted ellipsis

    Hello, I'm having some trouble understanding when to use the four dotted ellipsis in dialogue when I want to indicate a pause, and I would be very grateful if you could help me.

    This is an example of what I'm talking about:

    John sighed and said to himself (he's speaking out loud), "Ah, what should I do...? Rather, what can I do...? This can't go any further.... I have made up my mind. I will talk to Jeremy today and finish this once and for all."

    The ellipses indicate that John stops for a moment because he's thinking and is distracted by his thoughts. My question is: Should I use four dots in the sentence "This can't go any further...." since it's a grammatically complete sentence and it would normally end in a period, or should I use only three?

    Thank you for your time.
    Not a teacher

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: Four dotted ellipsis or three dotted ellipsis

    Use four as the ellipsis completes the sentence, but leave a space before it.

  3. Member
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    #3

    Re: Four dotted ellipsis or three dotted ellipsis

    Like this?

    "This can't go any further ...."

    Or like this?

    "This can't go any further. ..."
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  4. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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    #4

    Re: Four dotted ellipsis or three dotted ellipsis

    Neither.

    "This can't go any further ... ."
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  5. Moderator
    Interested in Language
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    #5

    Re: Four dotted ellipsis or three dotted ellipsis

    The ellipsis has three dots. It indicates that text has been omitted. If the sentence with the ellipsis requires ending punctuation, you add it after the ellipsis.
    I am not a teacher.

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