Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

The Canadian Style has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!


7.05 Ellipsis points

Use three ellipsis points (. . .) to indicate a silence in dialogue, hesitation or interruption in speech, a pause in narrative, or the passage of time. Used in this way, they are sometimes also referred to as suspension points:

  • "What is your approach to self-actualization?"
    " . . . "
    "Let me rephrase that."
  • The Minister’s speech dragged on and on . . . until, finally, the TV announcer’s voice broke the monotony.

Ellipsis points may be substituted for etc. and similar expressions at the end of a list:

  • nuts
  • bolts
  • screws
  • . . .

Do not use ellipsis points to imply hidden meanings or to separate groups of words for emphasis, as is often done in advertising.

For the use of ellipsis points to indicate omissions in quotations, see 8.09 Omissions.