Someone had lost something on his way home. So his friend found it and brought it back, what will be a natural way to express that:

I found it on the way.

I found it on a road.

And does the following sentence sound natural for a specific road:

I found it on X road.

I found it on X street.


I found it on the way

Typically I would expect this to end with "on the way home", "on the way to school", "on the way back", or something to that effect. This phrasing to me emphasizes more when or what they were doing when the object was found, as opposed to the object's location.

I found it on X road/street

For both of these, my inclination is to use the article the and replace on with in for the last two examples given.

I found it in the road/street

Using on makes it sound the object found is of comparable size to the road (eg. a car). However, oddly enough "on the street" doesn't sound as strange.

EDIT: forgot to answer the second part of your question:

Yes using it like:

I found it on [street name]

is the appropriate usage. I would also add the often, for certain roads, the "road specification" such as Street, Lane, Way, Court, etc. could be dropped.

I will also add the following suggestions that sound the best to me ( or if no preference):

I found it:

  • in the grass
  • in the park
  • on the sidewalk
  • in/on the driveway (same as street)
  • on the path
  • on/in the walkway (reverse of street)

I would say that sidewalks and paths sound like "surfaces", while grass and parks are "3D". Roads are "what cars use" while walkways are "what people use" (lost items/pens are of closer size to people (?)). Finally streets and driveways are in between all these definitions.

Not sure if that rationalization will help but.... and disclaimer this is coming from someone raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA so may not be applicable in different dialects

  • This is hard for me to put into words ... but I will try. Using "a road" seems to specifies that you are talking about "one of the many roads" and invites the question "which road," but it probably doesn't matter which road ... – katatahito Jun 19 at 5:59
  • ... alternatively using "the road" is similar to "in the grass", "in the dirt", "in the water", "on the ground", etc, where "the" seems to be used to specify a terrain instead of the normal "the" usage for a definite thing that has already been established – katatahito Jun 19 at 6:02
  • And what about "in the highway"? " I found it in the highway. " – It's about English Jun 19 at 18:09
  • I would also probably say "in the highway" – katatahito Jun 19 at 23:36
  • I know this isn't part of this question, but can you please help me out.... What sounds better to you here: "spoil" Or "damage"? " He spoiled my image" Or "He damaged my image" – It's about English Jun 20 at 8:52

In the first examples, "road" is being used to mean a physical structure, "way" means the "route that I took". For example, "My way to your home" could be on a road, or it could be through a field.

So these mean slightly different things. The first means "I found it while I was walking to your home", the second means "I found it on that thing that cars drive along"

For the second part, "X Road" is the name of the road. The word "Road" is part of the name (and should be capitalised)" The name might be "Park Road", or "Park Street" or "Park Lane" or many many other possibilities.

  • So all of them sound natural in different contexts, right? – It's about English Jun 18 at 8:52
  • They are ok but they would mean slightly different things. Another answer has more details on article and prepostion use. – James K Jun 18 at 9:06

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