Types of ellipses include:

  • an omission of words that repeat what has gone before. The repetition is not necessary because the meaning is understood (for example, ‘The project will be innovative. To be involved will be exciting.’ – ‘in the project’ is ellipsed in the second sentence).
  • where a word such as ‘one’ is substituted for a noun group/phrase, as in ‘There are lots of apples in the bowl and you can take two big ones’ (substitution).
  • a cohesive resource that binds text together and is commonly used in dialogue for speed of response and economy of effort (for example, [do you] ‘Want a drink?’ / ‘Thanks, I would.’ [like a drink]).
  • a use of three dots. This form of punctuation (also known as points of ellipsis) can be used to indicate such things as surprise or suspense in a narrative text or to indicate that there is more to come in an on-screen menu.