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交差点を渡る途中で/時にふと何かに当てられた

In this sentence, I wonder which one is correct or better than the other? I also have trouble to understand what exactly 途中で is used for, since in almost any case I feel like I could use 時 as well.

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  • First means "On the way", second means "when". So for me using the first it would mean: "All of sudden I was hit by something on my way crossing/While Crossing the intersection.". The second would be "All of the sudden something hit me when I was crossing the intersection." . As for them being interchangeable might be a matter of how you're wording your sentence, just like in english. But as i'm not so familiar with these word too, I'll let someone else oficially answer this question :) Mar 17, 2017 at 19:12

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時に is generic "when", whereas 途中で is "in the middle". They are often interchangeable but the latter would sound more emphatic. Compare 寝ている時に "when I was sleeping" vs 寝ている途中で "in the middle of sleeping".

They are not always interchangeable. Use "when" if you don't have to say "in the middle".

  • 私は勉強する時に眼鏡をかけます。 I wear glasses when I study.
  • [?] 私は勉強する途中で眼鏡をかけます。 [?] I wear glasses in the middle of studying.
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  • Doesn't 途中で also has a "spatial" aspect that 時に lacks? It seems it's possible to say 道の途中で, whereas 道の時に doesn't seem to make sense.
    – kroki
    Mar 18, 2017 at 10:31
  • @kroki Yes, 途中 doesn't have to follow a verb, just as "in the middle of" doesn't have to be followed by a verb.
    – naruto
    Mar 18, 2017 at 10:56

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