Can we skip objects in colloquial English, for example,

Have you read the book?

Yes, I've read (it) already.

By skipping "it", still is it ok?


Can you drink your milk?

But I don't want to drink (it).

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    You can, but if you do you are no longer referring to the object (book or milk) but to the action (reading or drinking) in general. So it sounds a bit strange. You need the it to refer to the object, even in colloquial English. Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


Leaving out the "it" changes the meaning of the sentences. In the first example, "Yes, I've read already" isn't an answer to the question because it doesn't refer to the book. It would mean that the person has read before as if that was some task that had to be accomplished once (similar to "I've eaten already"). It doesn't really make much sense.

In the second example, the sentence without "it" could still be an answer to the question, but it's saying that the person doesn't want to drink anything. Without the "it", it doesn't refer to the milk.

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