In many books, authors end their quotations by using ". . . ." (a period to end the sentence and an ellipsis to indicate ommited material).

Is it acceptable to apply the same structure in sentences that are not direct quotations?

For instance:

Today, Mary went to the park. . . .

Should the sentence be written in another way? If so, how?

  • What is your reason for using the ellipsis?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 3:13
  • I don't have any particular reason in mind. I just want to know if it is okay to use an ellipsis in a non-quotation context in the way I described above. That is, using a period followed by an ellipsis. But since you asked, let's suppose we want to show uncertainty: 1. I don't know if it will rain tomorrow. . . . 2. I don't know if it will rain tomorrow... Which of these is preferable? Is the first one acceptable?
    – 716494
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 4:52

1 Answer 1


Yeah, a four dot ellipsis is mostly used to indicate omitted text in a quotation after a sentence ends, but can also be used to convey pauses, silences, leading statements & unfinished thoughts that occur after a sentence ends. To use your example:

Alf: "Are you sure Mary isn't the park poo-jogger?"
Bazza: "Well, today, Mary went to the park...."
Alf: "And?  Did you see what she was up to?  It must be her, right?"
Bazza: "..."
Alf: "Aww, you're such a tease - spill the beans!"

If the context of your example indicated that more information could or should have been forthcoming past the end of the sentence but was omitted, the four dot ellipsis could adequately express that. As to whether the four dot ellipsis should be a period-space-3-dot-ellipsis or four dots in a row seems entirely a stylistic choice.

reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/ellipses-definition-uses

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