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Thread: in time/on time

  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post
    My dictionary says:
    on time=exactly at a stated time
    in time= ahead of a stated time
    But I still can not decide which one is correct for the sentence above.
    m

    I'm afraid that's misleading. As you will have seen from the diversity of views, there are nuances here; and a dictionary that devotes so little space to them can't be accurate. I would agree with the dictionary's definition of 'on time'; as more than one answer to your original post has said, 'on time' refers to a schedule. The train left on time.

    But 'ahead of a stated time' is not just 'in time'; it's 'in good/ample time' (unless the definition is using 'ahead of' to mean 'only a minute or two before'). That's another usage point: in 'on time' the time is specified by the schedule, so if you want to qualify the time (good/ample/perfect are all strong collocations) you need to use in: I won't be there on time, but I'll be in good time for your speech.

    b

  2. #12
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    They are both acceptable. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    They are both acceptable. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    I do not worry but that is out of question!!!!! It can not be both.

    m

  4. #14
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    In your example they are both acceptable, but mean different things. As you, and others have suggested; In time = with time to spare, before the event. On time = At the precise time, neither before or after the event.

    As Michael Swan says; "(Learners) should not become obsessed with correctness, or worry every time they make a mistake. Grammar is not the most important thing in the world!"

  5. #15
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    As Michael Swan says; "(Learners) should not become obsessed with correctness, or worry every time they make a mistake. Grammar is not the most important thing in the world!"

    You are right but I'm not obsessed with Grammar. I had this at an exam at my university and I will receive a mark according to the correctness.

    best wishes,

    m

  6. #16
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    Grammar is not the most important thing in the world!
    Only second.


  7. #17
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    Only second.


    And which is the first?


    m

  8. #18
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post
    And which is the first?


    m
    Ice cream is the most important thing in the world.


  9. #19
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    Ice cream is the most important thing in the world.


    Water melon is much better!

  10. #20
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    Default Re: in time/on time

    Quote Originally Posted by Mad-ox View Post
    Water melon is much better!
    Watermelon ice cream.


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