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The objective was to reduce the time and effort needed to obtain access to essential goods and services through an improved rural transport system. The underlying assumption was that the time saved would be used instead for activities that would improve the social and economic development of the communities.

Hi

I don't truly understand the second sentence.

Does it mean the time saved is used instead of those activities or does it mean the time saved is used for those activities?

Maybe, the sentence is supposed to be like this: The underlying assumption was that the time saved would be used , instead,for activities that would improve the social and economic development of the communities.

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    Sounds like you just need to set it off by a pair of commas to make it read better. I think you're absolutely right. Dec 4, 2018 at 8:57

2 Answers 2

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The sentence you are asking about is quite correct, but you are probably more used to hearing it spoken this way around:

The underlying assumption was that the time saved would be instead used for activities that would improve the social and economic development of the communities.

Or:

The underlying assumption was that the time saved would be used for activities that would improve the social and economic development of the communities instead.

When we use the word "instead" it is to show that one thing is being used as an alternative or substitute for another. In this case, time is being saved on one activity and used for another instead.

If you take the word "instead" out of the sentence entirely, it still makes sense. In fact, this sentence doesn't really need it because it refers to the "time saved", so it is quite clear that the time has been gained from reducing the time spent on something else.

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The underlying assumption was that the time saved would be used for activities that would improve the social and economic development of the communities instead of [activities] to obtain access to essential goods and services. 

The word "instead" suggests a replacement, one thing standing in the place of another.  Here, the thing to be replaced is mentioned in (well, at least implied by) the previous sentence. 

 

My native reader's eye would be confused if there were commas surrounding the word "instead".  On the other hand, the placement of the word "instead" is very flexible.  All of these seem natural:

the time saved would instead be used for {this new purpose} 
the time saved would be used instead for {this new purpose} 
the time saved would be used for {this new purpose} instead 

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