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When I'm reading ellipses in English out loud I usually say et cetera or and so on. What should I say in Mandarin? 等等?

  • It can also be read as "等". "等等" is more popular. Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 5:17

4 Answers 4


等等 is the official and only globally recognized way to read ellipsis in Chinese, unlike in English there are more than one (et cetera, and so on, and so forth, etc.)

In casual occasions you can also say for short. In formal speeches like news broadcast it's always 等等. (Note I am talking about the pronunciation of ellipsis; I am not saying single or other alternatives are grammatically incorrect or cannot be used in formal conversations.)


NS.X. answer is correct.

I am just going to add one extra point about <<……>> in writing.

If one is to convert <<……>> to words in writing, other than


One can use


Using OP example

    北海、頤和園、香山……      北海、颐和园、香山……

北海, 頤和園, 香山 are all places/location

Can be converted to

(1) 北海、頤和園、香山等等    北海、颐和园、香山等等


(2) 北海、頤和園、香山等地方  北海、颐和园、香山等地方

地方 = Location (as a category)

However, sometimes there are multiple suitable categories. One should pick the most suitable one base on context. As in this case, the better choice is

景点 景點 = Point of Interest (in terms of traveling)

That is because the sentence before and after seems to be about sightseeing around Beijing.

  • 等地方 sounds weird. Maybe "等地"? Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 5:19
  • Both '等地方' and '等地' sound normal to me.
    – John Siu
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 14:47
  • 1
    @MikeManilone 等地方 doesn't sound natural in Northern China but is perfectly fine in Southern China.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 21:58

I think the ...... should never be explicitly pronounced when you read an paragraph, unless it uses 等等 directly rather than ......

When you read this, just ignore the punctuation.


Any punctuation should never be pronounced.

  • 2
    It depends on the situation. Normally reading, you're right. But if you're reading a text for someone else to write (e.g. teacher and students) then yes, you pronounce punctuation. And each of them has a name. The OP is asking how to pronounce the 3 dots used for elipsis or "suspension". By the way, you should expand on your answer because right now it looks more like a comment than an answer.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 9:42

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