If parts of a sentence are being omitted from a quotation, should the punctuation before the ellipsis be removed? Take the following example:

The children went to school, and the teacher lectured.

Say that The children went to school is the only piece that needs to be used. Should the ellipsis be inserted like this:

The children went to school,…

Or like this:

The children went to school…

If it's the latter, then why do four-dot ellipses exist?

  • 1
    You have the choice to skip as much as you want, so keep or skip the comma (I'd skip it here.) Four dots = 3 for the quote's ellipsis + one period for the sentence end. Not the ellipsified part of the sentence, but... the whole one that includes the quote. May 18 '17 at 21:16
  • I think I am right in saying, though I am willing to stand corrected, that under the Oxford system one never uses more than three dots. Whether that includes the full stop is surely the moot point which ends all moot points.
    – WS2
    May 18 '17 at 21:31

Are you using a style guide? If yes, follow what it says. Otherwise, you can any style guide, like APA. This APA blog post has a great explanation of what they recommend.

The part most relevant to your example is:

Typically, ellipses are used only within a quotation, not at the beginning or at the end of a quotation. A rare exception would be an instance where the sentence could otherwise be misinterpreted.

It's not likely to be misinterpreted, so you don't need an ellipsis or a comma: use a period. (This is also mentioned in another one of their blog posts.)

Otherwise, this is applicable:

And what about punctuation other than a period? Other forms of punctuation can be included when doing so helps the reader understand the sentence. Whether it goes before or after the ellipses depends on whether it comes before or after the omitted text in the original quotation.

The comma does not add anything, so it should not be included (think of it as part of the ellipsis).

If you're also curious about how the four dot ellipsis is used, you can also find this information in the article.

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