I have seen the following sentence in a book:

..., but the branch with the eight apples on it was in his hand when I first saw him.

My question is, is "on it" a necessary part from this sentence? Can I just say: "the branch with eight apples was in his hand when I first saw him" ? If I can, please explain the different meaning (if there is a difference) between the sentences with "on it" and the one without "on it".

Thanks a lot :)

  • Technically it's redundant. There is no difference in meaning as the average reader would read it.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 22, 2016 at 22:09
  • So far the sense is exactly the same, you may use either versions with or without "on it" ; it's juste a matter of style.
    – DAVE
    Mar 10, 2016 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


The phrase "on it" specifies the relation of the applies to the branch. The apples are on the branch.

Without "on it" the relation is unspecified. The apples might be simply near the branch. Even if it is likely that the apples are on the branch (and without "on it" you would probably still guess that), you would use "on it" to be sure there was no confusion.

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