1

I wish to quote from a source, however, the original quote contains an extra the that does not flow with my sentence.

Which is better, describing what the article refers to, or removing it with an ellipsis?

It is a device, which "assists with opening the patient’s hand [...] and compensates for the [patient’s] flexor hypertonia."

or

It is a device, which "assists with opening the patient’s hand [...] and compensates for ... flexor hypertonia."

2

It is usual to indicate a word [thus] when it was absent in the original, but could be inferred from the context. The word is added to the quote, or replaces one, to give it sense. For example:

After being disturbed by intruders several times we came up with a solution. We installed an infra-red detector to deter them.

The second sentence could be quoted out of its context like this:

We installed an infra-red detector to deter [intruders].

But, if you want to omit a word or phrase from a sentence, you can use the elipisis, usually without any square brackets. So the sentence becomes

It is a device, which "assists with opening the patient’s hand ... and compensates for ... flexor hypertonia."

because you have only removed words, with none added.

  • Editorial ellipsis is often put in square brackets, to distinguish it from ellipsis in the source. But a style guide will often instruct on whether they are required or not. – James K May 30 at 21:12

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