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Is it correct and appropriate to omit the subject and verb in the second sentence below?

On the top half of the left face, they injected water. On the bottom half, ethanol.

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    It is correct, appropriate and probably even encouraged since the ability to express ideas in as few words as possible is considered to be of greater literary value. – Michael Rybkin May 31 '18 at 11:28
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    You can, but not by using a separate sentence; instead use a comma: "On the top half of the left face they injected water, on the bottom half, ethanol. – BillJ May 31 '18 at 11:45
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It is correct and appropriate. This comma is known as a "gapping comma", whereby the comma replaces words used earlier on.

But you should use a semicolon instead of the full stop:

On the top half of the left face, they injected water; on the bottom half, ethanol.

It is similar to the first example in the link I provided. Also have a look at the other comma types and punctuation pages on that site. It is a great resource.

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    It's actually just called gapping (or gapped coordination). For example, in "Kim is an engineer and Pat __ a barrister, gap represents "is", but no comma is required. Similarly, in "With Jill intent on resigning and Pat __ on following her example, we look like losing our two best designers" -- here, gap represents "intent", but no comma is required. – BillJ May 31 '18 at 14:23
  • I forgot to say that a comma is not required if the meaning is clear without it (it states this at the bottom of the page I linked to). – MotherBrain Jun 2 '18 at 0:38

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