What Do the Three Dots Mean – 3 Dots in Texting Examples

What do the three dots mean? It can be confusing because there are many ways to interpret it. Those 3 dots (ellipsis) provide valuable insights into the feelings of the sender.

We analyzed every possibility and put together the ultimate three dots meaning guide covering all meanings with real text examples, plus how to reply. Enjoy!

What Do the Three Dots Mean

Those 3 dots are called an ellipsis. We see them when someone is typing. In texting they are used intentionally to leave out a word or phrase. Ellipses are meant to be vague, you have to read between the lines. An ellipsis can be used by itself or with words. They are usually three dots, yet can also be 2 dots or 4 dots.

Three Dots Meaning – Text

  • They are annoyed
  • They are being flirty
  • They are creating suspense
  • They are calling you out
  • They are looking for a response
  • They don’t know what to say
  • They are thinking
  • They assume you get the idea
  • They are uncertain
  • They are leaving the door open to change their mind

Ellipses in Text Messages

It is amazing how three periods can mean so many different things. Here are all the possibilities. Make sure to consider the context of your conversation.

1. They Don’t Know What to Say

Can I get back to you…

Three dots are used when the person does not want to disappoint you or say no. You might not hear back so quickly, or at all.

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2. They Are Thinking


Three dots are used when the person is considering what you said, yet not 100% sure.

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3. They Are Annoyed


Three dots are used when the person is not happy with you. It is somewhat passive aggressive.

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4. They Assume You Get the Idea

I have major cramps…

Three dots are used when it is pretty clear what the person means.

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5. They Are Quoting Song Lyrics

Oh, I wanna dance with somebody…

Three dots are used so you will fill in the next line of the song. This is fun and flirty.

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6. They Are Replacing the Word “Etcetera”

Sorry! I have class, cheerleading, HW, babysitting…

Three dots are used implying there are more things on the list not mentioned.

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7. They Are Being Flirty and Suggestive

You should come over later…

Three dots are used in a flirty way, they are being suggestive, so use your imagination.

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8. They Have Something Important to Discuss

We need to talk…

Three dots are used when something is on their mind, generally it is an issue that is bothering them.

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9. They Are Hesitant or Uncertain

Um… yeah, I guess so

Three dots are used when the person is being agreeable, yet they aren’t 100% sure.

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10. They Are Creating Anticipation & Suspense

I have some really good news…

Three dots are used to create curiosity and excitement, and to get your attention.

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11. They Are Moving From One Thought to Another

Been thinking about you lately…wanna get together?

Three dots are used to smoothly transition from one idea to another.

Three Dots Meaning - Connection Copilot

12. They Are Pausing, More Is Coming

First we went out to dinner…

then we went for drinks…

then we went back to my place.

Three dots are used to tell you there is more text coming.

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13. They Might Possibly Change Their Mind

I’m not sure if I can make it tonight…

Three dots are used when the person is not fully committed yet hasn’t made up their mind.

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14. They Are Calling You Out for Not Responding

Three dots are sent by themselves when you haven’t responded to their previous message. It is a subtle nudge/ reminder.

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How To Reply 3 Dots In Text

You can never be sure what the person really means, so don’t do anything crazy. Here are 3 possible ways to reply to three dots in text.

Ignore It

Act as if it wasn’t even sent. Disregard it and go about texting as normal.

What does mean in text - Connection Copilot

Send a Flirty Emoji

If you believe the meaning was to flirt and you want to flirt back, this is the perfect opportunity.

Don’t Text Back

Give the person some space and don’t write back. Either they will text you back eventually or you can send a text in a few days. Sometimes giving someone some space is the best solution.

Never Call Out The Person Or Question Their Text

The worst thing you can do is ask the person what they meant. This is try-hard and you come off as needy. If you are not sure just ignore or don’t text back.

When you see the person you can ask about their text if you must. Personally I would just forget about it and let it go.

For more texting tips check out When a Guy Includes Your Name in a Text: 15 Meanings.


What if I receive four periods instead of three?

Four periods and two periods are the same as three. Generally it is a typo or autofill issue.

How can I avoid misinterpreting three dots in texts?

Unfortunately you never really know the true meaning behind someone’s text. When getting to know someone you will get to know their texting habits.

For a more in-depth look at punctuation in text check out Thesaurus.com.


Understanding what the three dots mean can enhance your text message communication. The meaning of 3 dots varies so make sure to consider your relationship with the other person and the surrounding messages.

Consider the context and don’t overanalyze. For further reading check out what Merriam-Webster dictionary has to say.

Matt Furman
Matt Furman

Hi, I’m Matt, the proud owner of Connection Copilot. I live in NYC and I’m passionate about all things dating. With a bachelor's degree in psychology, a professional coaching certification, and over 20 years of experience as a top tier dating coach, I've had the privilege of guiding and empowering thousands of individuals on their journey to meaningful connections.

I was born in New York and have never left. Having immersed myself in the fast-paced dating scene of New York City, learning as I go, I have gained much wisdom through experience. Consider me your trusted companion in your quest for love.