Stylistic Devices – Ellipsis


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Stylistic Devices – Ellipsis

What is ellipsis?

Ellipsis (or elliptical construction ) is the omission of a word or words. It refers to constructions in which words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still be understood.

Ellipsis helps us avoid a lot of redundancy. In fact there is a lot of redundancy in language and it can be surprising how much can be left out without losing much meaning, particularly when there are contextual clues as to the real meaning.


Some examples of ellipsis are listed below:

  • Lacy can do something about the problem, but I don’t know what (she can do.)
  • She can help with the housework; Nancy can (help with the housework), too.
  • John can speak seven languages, but Ron can speak only two (languages.)

The words between parentheses can be omitted and the sentences can still be meaningful.

36 Figures of Speech Types Simile Metaphor Etc With Examples
36 Figures of Speech Types Simile Metaphor Etc With Examples

List of Figures of Speech in the English Language – Literary Devices

Accumulation Climax Metalepsis
Adjunction Dysphemism Metaphor
Adnomination Ellipsis Metonymy
Alliteration Euphemism Simile
Allusion Epigram Synecdoche
Anaphora Epiphora (or epistrophe) Tautology
Antanaclasis Hyperbole Understatement
Anticlimax Hypophora Zeugma and syllepsis
Antiphrasis Irony
Antithesis Litotes
Apostrophe Oxymoron
Assonance Personification
Cataphora Puns
Chiasmus Merism

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