time alone

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The things is, I just want time alone now. Don't be offended.
<State of the Union: A Novel by Douglas Kennedy>

I know the set phrase "alone time," but I can't find "time alone" in any dictionary.
So I was wondering why it is "time alone," not "alone time."
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I don't know what "alone time" is. This is "I want time, and I want it for myself alone". Likewise he might have said "I want time in the garden... I want time to relax..." etc.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Keith Bradford and heypresto, for your answer and proofreading.
    Then I was wondering whether "alone" modifies only "time," or it does the whole sentence "I just want time."
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    I think 'alone time' is like 'quality time' and 'down time', an (American, at least) expression in which the kind of time or its purpose (noun as adjective) precedes 'time'.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thank you, Keith Bradford and heypresto, for your answer and proofreading.
    Then I was wondering whether "alone" modifies only "time," or it does the whole sentence "I just want time."
    "I want alone time" - Here 'alone' acts adjectivally. It tells you what kind of time.

    "I want time alone" - could have two meanings:

    (1) It could mean "The only thing I want is time" - this would be an unusual interpretation but it's possible
    (2) It could mean "I want some time without company." - In that case it could be considered to modify the whole expression "I want some time" or it could be considered to modify just "time."
     
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