Should I capitalize the word "don't" in the following sentence?

Listen... don’t panic.

  • Why would you use an ellipsis in the first place?
    – Arun
    Apr 28, 2018 at 17:08
  • 1
    It's a script. The narrator wants to make a pause after the word "listen", which is longer than what a comma would signify.
    – seeeker
    Apr 28, 2018 at 17:13
  • 3
    One interesting side point is that even though I've seen many people use a space after but not before an ellipsis, the way you've done here, there actually seem to be few if any style guides that recommend this spacing, according to the answers to the following questions: Space before three dots?, Spaces for Ellipses
    – herisson
    Apr 28, 2018 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


No, you do not capitalize the word following the ellipsis. I have only ever seen and used spaces in ellipses in academic writing when omitting text from the middle of a quote. For instance, from the Wikipedia article for linguistic ellipses, in the sentence:

In linguistics, ellipsis (from the Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission") or elliptical construction refers to the omission, from a clause, of one or more words that are nevertheless understood in the context of the remaining elements.

I can use ellipses to remove information and inform the reader of the missing text, as you can see if you compare my new sentence to the original:

In linguistics, ellipsis . . . refers to the omission . . . of one or more words that are nevertheless understood in the context of the remaining elements.

In your case, it sounds like you're writing some form of dialogue. When using an ellipsis in dialogue, you are indicating a pause in the sentence. You do not use spaces or capitalization surrounding the ellipsis. In the sentence you provided, the correct style is:

"Listen...don’t panic."

  • 2
    There is also the sentence or 'sentence'-terminal four-dot ellipsis, as in << Listen.... Don't make a sound. >> Dec 27, 2021 at 19:25

No, not in this case, but capitalization is correct if the word following the ellipsis is part of a new sentence.

  • 1
    In that case, there should be a full stop after the ellipsis (4 dots altogether).
    – Lawrence
    Dec 27, 2021 at 20:35

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