Which of these sentences (if not both) is correct?

"I wanted to find on time the apple in the tree."

"I wanted to find, on time, the apple in the tree."

  • 1
    The latter might just be used in writing to emphasise the temporal constraint, but sounds weird in conversation. Native speakers would put 'on time' at the end of the sentence, running 'the apple in the tree' together to aid parsing. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 21 '16 at 11:34
  • The phrase on time adds to the meaning of the basic sentence "I wanted to find the apple in the tree" and occurs within it. It's a parenthetical* and thus needs to be separated from the main sentence by a pair or commas. * dailywritingtips.com/8-types-of-parenthetical-phrases – Kris Dec 21 '16 at 12:22

The second sentence is logically correct. The first sentence makes "time" seem like a sofa or bed, on which you are finding something. The second sentence distinguishes this from the rest of the sentence precisely.

  • Thanks for the answer. Agreed that the second seems better. Is there technically an error in grammar in the first, or is it correct (but awkward) grammar? – anshad Dec 21 '16 at 8:35
  • 1
    No, there is no grammatical error in the first sentence. – Landon Carter Dec 21 '16 at 8:36
  • Though correct, the second sentence is puzzling. To say that one wanted to get to the airport or station on time, implies in time to catch a plane/train. But to find an apple on time is harder to discern. – Ronald Sole Dec 21 '16 at 11:37

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