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Example 1

You will just need to act normally after you eat his pudding. He won't find out.

You will just need to act normally after you eat his pudding. He won't find out what you did.

Example 2

He is sensitive to his appearance. He cares a lot.

He is sensitive to his appearance. He cares about it a lot.

Example 3

He talked very fast. I did not understand.

He talked very fast. I did not understand what he said.

Example 4

We have to tell him in a soft tone. Otherwise, he will not listen.

We have to tell him in a soft tone. Otherwise, he will not listen to us.

Example 5

We just need to use another screen. He won't know.

We just need to use another screen. He won't know about it.

Why do the parts in bold in all the examples can be omitted and they can still convey the same meanings?

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    "Why can the parts in bold be omitted?" Jun 17, 2023 at 11:27
  • We often use ommission (sometimes called Elipsis) in English when the meaning is obvious form the context, especially in informal/spoken English. It's purpose is simply to avoid repetition of things which are obvious, to help conversations flow more easily.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 17, 2023 at 11:46
  • As an example, take "What happened to you?". When speaking to someone, it is obvious that I am talking about what happened to the person I am actually speakin to, and I am not speaking to anybody else. So we can shorten that to "What happened?" because the context makes the meaning obvious. Context is very important in English, and in many other languages, not just English.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 17, 2023 at 11:53

1 Answer 1

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In each case, the bolded part is implied pretty strongly. This isn't really a question of English usage. Take the first case:

You will just need to act normally after you eat his pudding. He won't find out what you did.

What else might you be talking about? I mean, in theory, you could be saying that he won't find out that you already bought him a Christmas present, but, in context, it's clear that the thing he won't find out is that you ate his pudding.

or the second case:

He is sensitive to his appearance. He cares about it a lot.

Since you have just mentioned his sensitivity about his appearance, it's clear that the second sentence is modifying that thought.

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