1

How can I say:

From 999, 500 are yellow balls and 499 are white balls.

Can I start with "FROM"?

1
  • I'd say of the 999 balls, 500 are yellow and the rest are white. Or of the 999 balls, 500 are yellow and 499 are white. Or perhaps there are 500 yellow balls and 499 white, making 999 in total.
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 8, 2016 at 0:29

3 Answers 3

3

A native speaker would use "of" in order to show that the different colours (yellow and white) are part "of" a whole (the 999)

Of the 999 balls, 500 are yellow and 499 are white.

Of the voters in America, some are Democrats and some are Republicans.
Of the people in the world, about half are men and the rest are women.

2

It is understandable.

  1. From the 999 balls, there are 500 yellow balls and 499 white balls.
  2. From the 999 balls, there are 500 yellow ones and 499 white ones.
  3. From the 999 balls, 500 are yellow and 499 are white.
  4. From the 999 balls, 500 are yellow and the rest are white.

If you want to preserve this structure, I would suggest using the word "among" instead of "from" in my examples.


"From" is understandable-- as in, it sounds like something you might here from native speakers-- but it might not be the best, as I suggested. As the others point out, "out of" might be preferable.

If you choose "out of", then using your example, you could say something like:

  1. Out of 2222 reports, 444 had problems and 1778 were satisfactory.
  2. Out of 2222 reports, 444 had problems and the rest were satisfactory.
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  • sorry but in this context "From" is not correct - it should be "out of".- but "among" is a bit better than "from" - another option that is better is "of the" , but the best is "out of"
    – tom
    Jun 7, 2016 at 22:53
  • 3
    @Tom Bare of works, too: Of the 999 balls, 500 are yellow and 499 are white. Jun 7, 2016 at 23:17
  • I think "of the" sounds more natural than "out of", especially when detailing all of the items as in the example.
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 8, 2016 at 0:31
  • @nnnnnn Sure, but that's subjective. They sound equally natural to me, and I don't really want to edit my answer, since I would then have to edit every time someone comes up with a new thing. From now on, I'll try to make sure to say that the list of possibilities is not exhaustive.
    – Em.
    Jun 8, 2016 at 0:35
  • Sure, I didn't expect you to edit. I was kind of responding to @tom, who said that "out of" is best.
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 8, 2016 at 0:39
2

I would say

Balls 1 to 499 are white and those from 500 to 999 are yellow.

but you could also say

The balls from 1 to 499 are white and those from 500 to 999 are yellow.

and in America

Balls 1 through 499 are white and 500 through 999 are yellow.

but I am not a native American speaker so am not sure about using from in the sentence above with through

In reality I would be more likely to say "five hundred are white and five hundred are yellow "... (or four hundred and ninety nine are white)


Edit after comment:

Ok.... not "from" but "out of"....

Out of 2000 reports, 400 were well written, 675 had only a few problems and the rest were average except form 20 which were not good.

but I am not sure about the comma after reports... maybe a semicolon - someone will correct me I hope...

but you want "out of" instead of "from."

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  • My difficult is... it is about reports... the text says: From 2222 reports, 444 had problems... Jun 7, 2016 at 22:48
  • So, is there a way to start like this... I am talk about the total of the reports... Jun 7, 2016 at 22:49
  • 2
    Consider 'Out of' I would say something like 'Out of 2222 reports submitted, 444 had problems'
    – PerryW
    Jun 7, 2016 at 22:50
  • @PerryW - yes I was just editing my answer for that when you commented....
    – tom
    Jun 7, 2016 at 22:52
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    @tom Semicolon is not needed after "reports," "Out of 200 reports" is an introductory phrase, so a comma is needed. Always put a comma after introductory phrases/clauses/words.
    – Usernew
    Jun 8, 2016 at 14:11

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