An elliptical sentence is one in which we leave out words that would complete or clarify the sentence because they may be repeating earlier words or ideas.
Ellipsis, or leaving out words, helps us avoid unnecessary language while keeping the meaning intact.

Look at these two sentences and note the difference:

[Full sentence]: I know that he can do something about the problem, but I don’t know what he can do about the problem.
[Elliptical sentence]: I know that he can do something about the problem, but I don’t know what.

Another way of using ellipsis informally is to use three dots, or full stops, to indicate where words have been omitted:

‘After school I went to her house, which was a few blocks away, and then I came home.’
‘After school I went to her house … and then I came home.’

Make these three full sentences into elliptical sentences:

1. It seems like a really useful idea to me.

2. He was the greatest tennis player ever, and remains the greatest tennis player ever.

3. She has been an incredible support to me and always will be an incredible support to me.


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