I have a question, assume that I have a sentence:

There are 4 balls in the box, 2 white balls and 2 black balls.

Can I omit the noun 'balls' like this for short?

There are 4 balls in the box, 2 white and 2 black.

Or in a normal conversation like this:

A: Remember to buy 4 pens when you go to the supermakert.

B: Which color do you want?

A: 2 red, 2 blue (2 red pens and 2 blue pens)

  • Sounds perfectly natural to me. – CinCout Aug 30 '19 at 9:00
  • @CinCout thanks =)) – Noctis Aug 30 '19 at 10:09

Yes, this is perfectly natural. Once you have established the subject (pens, balls, whatever), you don't have to constantly name them. You can use pronouns like "it" or "he/she". In your examples of informal speech, you don't have to use pronouns at all.

Also, remember that instructions or orders often omit words that would normally be necessary for correct grammar. For example, road signs say "STOP!", they don't say "You must stop here". So even in your example where a question is asked and a response is given, it seems quite normal and natural for the second speaker to omit the noun (which has already been established) and just state their colour preference.

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  • Thanks a lot =) – Noctis Aug 30 '19 at 10:08

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