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  1. #1
    Deepurple is offline Member
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    Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    I have been told that where is regularly an adverb (Where are you going?), but when it is used with prepositions it can be calssified as a pronoun. (Where did we get to?) And BTW can it(where) be used as a relative pronoun in some cases? Are there any other wh-words which can be used as adverbs as well and why?

    Thanks for your enlightenment, sirs and madams.

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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Hello, Deepurple. Every word has a form, what it looks like, and a function, what it does in the sentence.

    [1] Where are you going?
    Form: Adverb
    Function: Adverb (it answers the question "Where?")

    [2] Where did we get to?
    Form: Pronoun (it stands in place of a noun; e.g., I got to page 4) ; Page 4 is where I got to.)
    Function: Adverb (it answers the question "Where?")

    [3] This is the place where my sister works.
    Form: Adverb
    Function: Relative Adverb (it modifies the noun "the place")


    [4] Other WH-Adverbs:
    when (time; e.g., when are you going?)
    how (manner; e.g., how did you do it?)

  3. #3
    velimir is offline Member
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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Hello Soup,

    I would like to give some observations on this topic and I would like you to review and discuss it if possible.Thanks in advance.

    I think that "where" can't be a relative pronoun.It is a relative adverb.Whether a "wh-word" functions as a relative pronoun or a relative adverb is determined by its function in the subordinated relative clause.In both cases that word refers back to i.e postmodify the noun phrase which it follows and introduces a relative clause.In the sentence:

    (subordinated clauses are painted red)

    I've never been to the place where you are going.( in the relative clause "where" functions as adverbial)

    "That" is a relative pronoun in the following sentence("that"-conjunction also can introduce a subordinate clause as well as "that"- determiner):


    The man that is going to London is my friend (relative clause is "that is going to London" in which "that" fills the position of subject)

    In the next clause "that" is a relative pronoun that fills the position of object in the relative clause.

    The man that we met was going to London.(We met "that"(object))

    Pronouns can function as subject or object or their complements but not as an adverbial.

    I think that in questions "where" is always adverb and functions as interrogative word(adverb).I really don't understand the interpretation of "where" in the sentence "Where did we get to?"as a pronoun.If you would be so kind to give some additional explanation on this I would be really grateful Soup.

    Also,"where" used as in the sense like in the sentence "Page 4 is where I got to" means "(in) the place or situation in which" and this use of "where" (btw,it seems to be limited) Oxford OALD dictionary labels as conjunction as well as Cambridge ALD dictionary."Where" is not indicated as a pronoun in those dictionaries.

    Thanks for the answers.
    Last edited by velimir; 03-Feb-2008 at 21:24.

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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Hello, velimir.

    I agree with you here, 'I think that "where" can't be a relative pronoun', and for this reason 'Pronouns can function as subject or object or their complements but not as an adverbial.'

    As for question formation as in where did you get to?, where functions as interrogative, true, as that's what it does in the sentence; however, that's only half of its identity. It also has a form, a pronominal form. Here where stands for a noun:

    Q: Where did you get to?
    A: I got to page 4.

    Does that help?

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    velimir is offline Member
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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Hello Soup,

    Unfortunately,I don't understand yet.If you would be so kind to give some more examples with "where" as a pronoun and some examples with "where" as an adverb,to make the distinction,it would help maybe.In the meantime I will try to figure it out on my own,although I'm not an optimist that I will make any progress.

    Thanks a lot Soup

    Velimir

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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Velimir, if where replaces a noun, its "form" is that of a pronoun. Having said that,

    Relative Adverb
    An adverbial pronoun like where or when used to introduce a relative clause.

    Glossary of Terms

    Again, I agree with you,where can't "function" as a relative pronoun as that is its form.

  7. #7
    velimir is offline Member
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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Hello Soup,

    Many thanks for your answer. First to correct a mistake I've made in my first post on this topic."Whether a "wh-word" is a relative pronoun or a relative adverb is determined by its place and function in the subordinated relative clause."
    I'm just a learner and I cannot argue this point with you Soup of course. Still, I don't like this definition from glossary:

    Relative Adverb

    An adverbial pronoun like where or when used to introduce a relative clause.


    I understand from the definition that "relative adverb" is a function and that its realisation is in form of "adverbial pronoun" .

    That is confusing to me for a few reasons.

    1. I understand "relative adverb" as a form not a function ( I've learned about "adverb" as term for a word class and "adverbial" for a function in the sentence structure)
    2. I've never met the term "adverbial pronoun" so far.
    3. Relative pronouns fill the position of subject or object in the embedded relative clause and in the same time connect it to its host clause.
    4.Where and when fill the position of adverbial in the embedded relative clause and in the same time connect it to its host clause.


    Thanks again Soup

    Velimir
    Last edited by velimir; 04-Feb-2008 at 19:51.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Velimir, does this help?

    Q: Where did you get to? <Where = which page, a noun phrase>

    A: Here is where I got to. <Here = this place, a noun phrase>

    A: I got to here. <here = page 4, a noun phrase>

    A: I got to there. <there = page 4, a noun phrase>

  9. #9
    velimir is offline Member
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    Re: Why "where" is an adverb and not a relative pronoun?

    Hello Soup,

    Yes,it helps of course,thank you.Please let me give some more observations on this,I hope I'm not boring too much.
    In the sentence "Where did you get to?" you've elaborate the case with "where" as an interrogative pronoun,but I would like to know about "where" as a relative pronoun.I'll take one sentence with subordinated relative clause(clause which postmodify a noun phrase):

    Macy's is the place where I buy my clothes.

    I would say that "where" here is by its form a relative adverb= subclass of adverbs which serves adittional role of a subordinator.That is,it is functionaly adverbial in the relative clause(I buy my clothes "where") and additionaly connects two clauses into one sentence.

    If I remove "the place" from previous sentence I get a type of sentence which Quirk classifies as a subclass of nominal clauses,precisely,nominal relative clauses.

    Macy's is where I buy my clothes.

    In this situations i.e when "where" is not preceded by a noun,dictionaries place it under the entry "conjunction",although I would say that is an adverb ,and also connects subordinate clause to its host clause.

    And if possible,I would like you to give some example with the use of "where" as a relative pronoun.I stand by what I've said earlier about the definition from glossary:it is not understandable to me since it reads ..relative adverb is an adverbial pronoun..used to introduce a relative clause.I mean,I don't know about that terminology,although it is possible that author knows well about it.

    Best regards

    Velimir

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