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I see this type of syntax often, but I do not know how, when or where they should be used.

"It is the case that [...] the inconvenience is altogether imaginary."

Is it okay to use if I need to insert a quotation into an essay, but the quote is long and I want to omit the irrelevant parts? Am I allowed to use the syntax multiple times per quotation ?

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Possible duplicate of "What is the proper use of square brackets in quotes?" – RegDwigнt Nov 30 '10 at 22:19
@RegDwight that covers adding information, my question covers omitting information – Corey Nov 30 '10 at 22:32

1 Answer 1

Square brackets are used in quotes to mark information that was not in the original quote. This applies equally to added words and omitted words.


I wonder... who did that?


I wonder [...] who did that?

In the first, the speaker is pondering something; the question is somewhat rhetorical. In the second, the question is literal.

Edit: yes, you can use this multiple times in a quotation. Just be careful not to leave out so much that the quote becomes incomprehensible, or worse, changes meaning.

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