What is ellipsis?

We explain what ellipsis is and the meaning of this term. In addition, its different uses and examples of this rhetorical figure.

  1. What is ellipsis?

The term ellipsis comes from the Greek word  élleipsis  and which translates “omission,” and is a rhetorical figure that consists in the omission or deletion of part of the content of a sentence , which, although grammatically necessary, is implicit in the context. . This is called elliptical construction.

It can also be used as a narrative resource , insofar as important portions of the content of a work are omitted (a novel , for example, or a movie), so that the reader can deduce or infer them from what is said .

In fact, in cinematographic language, it is known as ellipsis to the suppression of unnecessary material to tell the story, such as transfers from one stage to another, or everyday sequences that are not indispensable.

Similarly, in the mathematical language the term ellipsis is used to refer to a specific symbol (the ellipsis) that accuses the usually indefinite or eternal repetition of a sequence, a value or a figure.

  1. Examples of ellipsis

Ellipsis can also be used as a narrative resource.

Here are some rhetorical examples of ellipsis:

  • Manuel came by car, Miguel by bicycle. (The verb “come” is omitted.)
  • We bought pizza and beers last night too. (The verb “buy” is omitted.)
  • In the garden we grow tomatoes, and cucumber too. (The verb “cultivate” is omitted.)
  • We will bring the wine, you the bread, they the table. (The verb “bring” is omitted.)
  • Last year it rained a lot, but not so much this year. (The verb “rain” is omitted.)
  • The roses are red, the blue sky. (The verb be omitted).
  • Teresa arrived with her boyfriend, Maricarmen no. (The repetition of “arrived with her boyfriend” is omitted.)
  • Yesterday’s movie was boring. Today’s too. (The repetition of “I found it boring” is omitted.)
  • I was never good in sports, but in chess, yes. (“I was good” is omitted.)
  • To enter the toast you must wear a jacket and tie. (The verb “to use” is omitted).
  • We had thirty-three million, and then thirty-five. (The verb “have” is omitted)
  • I started to cook, Rodrigo to sweep and Malena to order. (“Set to” is omitted).
  • Máximo is a lousy lawyer, and an unfortunate professional. (“Being” is omitted).
  • Libraries are full of books and magazines too. (It omits “they are full of”).
  • I will never fly through Avianca again. I will do it for Copa. (The verb “fly” is omitted).

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