What Is Ellipsis?


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Will Martin answered
Ellipsis simply means "omission". In punctuation, three dots means something is missing from the sentence ("...and so on...") An elliptical conversation is one where a lot of key information is left out because the speakers know it already ("Have you got one?" is elliptical - it assumes that you know what "one" means.)
In grammar, it's basically the same; we leave out the words (in spoken, informal English) that our hearers are sure to infer from the context:
-Got any money? ("Have you" is omitted)
-Must go. ("I")
-There's something missing, but I don't know what. ("It is.")
-I've brought the documents, as agreed. ("We agreed.")
-I carried the bag and my friend the suitcase. (In leaving out the second "carried", you can create confusion here - do you mean that the suitcase is your friend and you carried both him and the bag?? This is an example of why ellipsis must be used with care.)

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