What exactly is the difference between using 'other + noun', 'others' and 'other ones' when referred back to those remaining in a group of something that is already know about?
To shed some light on this question, I would like to know which of the three sentence constructions below sounds most natural to a native speaker and why.
1) Our group is much quieter than the other groups.
2) Our group is much quieter than the other ones.
3) Our group is much quieter than the others.
I have no doubt that the first sentence is correct, and probably the safest one to go with. However, I don't want to repeat a noun that is already mentioned earlier in the sentence. I can't find any errors in the second sentence, but feel that it doesn't sound as natural. As for the third sentence, is 'others' restricted only to 'people' and can't be used for other nouns such as 'group'?