Unit 3.1

Relative Pronouns of Place and Time

Introduction

Pronouns are words used to avoid repetitions of a noun.

Relative pronouns are used to introduce relative clauses. They refer to place and time by replacing the subject expressed in the main clause to avoid the repetition of it in the relative clauses.

Form

The main relative pronouns of place and time are wherewhenwherever and whenever.

Example

  • This is the shopping centre where I bought you that gift.
  • This is the hotel where we stayed during our trip.
  • I can’t forget the day when my dad opened our bakery.
  • The winter when I started working as a shop assistant was cold.
  • Wherever you go, I’ll be there for you.
  • We can have dinner wherever you want, but not in that restaurant.
  • Whenever you need me, I am ready to come.
  • Whenever she calls, he doesn’t answer.

Use

We use relative pronouns to identify place and time and to add secondary/additional information about them. We use:

  • where to express the location of an action or event;
  • when to express the time of an action or event;
  • wherever to express that the place doesn’t matter;
  • whenever to express that the time doesn’t matter.

Summary

Relative pronouns of place and time are used to introduce relative clauses, and to avoid repetition of place or time from the main clause in the relative clauses. They are used after nouns.

The most commonly used relative pronouns are: where (object) is used for places, when for time, wherever when it doesn’t matter where the place is, whenever when it doesn’t matter when an action or event is going to happen.

For example:
“I work in London, where 8 million people live.” = Where refers to London (place).
“I worked in London last summer, when you were in the countryside.” = When refers to the working period in London (time).

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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