Suppose you have five dogs. You are describing them to a friend. You start with colors. (1)One is black. Another is white. Another is brown. And the others are gray.
Can you also say
(2)"one is black, one is white, one is brown and the other two are gray"?

In EFL classes we are taught (1) is the only correct way of describing a number of countable things in different colors, sizes and other features.
I was wondering if (2) is common and acceptable.

Apple
Original Post
Yes, the second sentence is perfectly acceptable.

I wonder why it is taught that "the other two" are not acceptable. Perhaps because "another" is used as a pronoun in your example, it might follow that the last element should also be a pronoun, like "the others."

However, both sentence (1) and sentence (2) are acceptable. Here are some other variations:

One is black, one is white, one is brown, and the other two are gray.
One is black, another one is white, another one is brown, and the other two are gray.
One is black, another is white, another is brown, and the two others are gray.

Rachel
So the rule is pretty flexible. I wonder if the variety of these rules are stated in grammar books. I have a follow up question. Suppose I have 10 birds.
Are the following sentences all acceptable? I have a feeling (3) is unnatural.

1. Two are yellow, two are white, three are gray, and the rest are brown.
2. Some are yellow, some are white, some are gray and the others are brown.
3. Some are yellow, others are white, others are gray, and the others are brown.

Apple.
I agree. (1) and (2) are fine; (3) does sound unnatural.

I haven't seen the details we are discussing addressed in any grammar text, but this point is interesting to consider.

Here are some other possibilities:

"¢ Two are yellow, another two are white, three are gray, and (all) the others are brown.
"¢ Two are yellow, another two are white, three are gray, and (all) the rest are brown.
"¢ Some are yellow, some are white, some are gray, some are brown.
"¢ Some are yellow, while others are white, gray or brown.
"¢ Some are yellow, white or gray. Others are brown.

Rachel

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