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    #1

    explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Join the sentences with a relative clause.

    That's the house. I was born in it.

    I got answers such as:

    1. That's the house where I was born in.
    2. That's the house which I was born in.

    I like 2., but I don't like 1.

    Trouble is, I have to explain why, not just say, 1. should be 'That's the house where I was born.', especially as I cannot say 2. is wrong, although it may be phrased 'That's the house in which I was born.'

    So, what do I tell 'em? 1. is wrong because ........?

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    ... where has within itself the idea of in which. Another in would be wrong.

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    #3

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post
    1. That's the house where I was born in.
    2. That's the house which I was born in.

    I like 2., but I don't like 1.
    You don't like 1. because it's not correct. You have to remove the in: That's the house where I was born.

    This is how I would teach this to higher-level learners if I only had a couple of minutes. Get them to think about what the words where/when are referring to.

    Break the thought "I was born in that house" into a question and answer:

    Q: Where were you born?
    A: In that house.

    We can see that where refers to in that house. We're identifying a place. The word where could be called a 'relative adverb' because in that house is an adverbial. (It's a PP so the concept of 'in' disappears into the 'where'.)



    Q: Which house were you born in?
    A: That house.

    Here, the word which can be called a 'relative pronoun' as it refers to that house, which is a noun phrase. We're identifying a house, which is a 'thing', not a place. The concept of 'in' is not a part of the 'which'.

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    #4

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    You don't like 1. because it's not correct. You have to remove the in: That's the house where I was born.
    You can remove where instead: That's the house I was born in. But you have to choose one, either where or ​in.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    You can remove where instead: That's the house I was born in. But you have to choose one, either where or ​in.
    Yes, but if you do, it's the same meaning as sentence 2. (not 1.) but without which.

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    #6

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post

    So, what do I tell 'em? 1. is wrong because ........?
    Please don't use non-standard English on this site. It's "them". Who are they?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    They are Chinese students of English, who do not want an answer that is non-explanatory. They want to know why it's wrong.

    ... where has within itself the idea of in which. Another in would be wrong.
    Why would another in be wrong? If I say, "Where are you going?" I couldn't really replace 'where' with 'in which' successfully.

    'That's the house wherein I was born.' is a bit Legalese, but understandable and carries another 'in' on top of said 'where'.

    Q: Where were you born?
    A: In that house.

    So, where carries the concept of 'in'.

    Q: Where were you born?
    A:On the moon.

    So, where now carries the concept of 'on'?

    If you are clever enough, you can associate 'where' with any locative preposition.



    'em (Pronoun): Middle English; since 17c. taken as a colloquial abbreviation of them but originally at least in part a form of hem, dative and accusative of the third person plural pronoun .
    cf him

    'Tell 'em' is a very common contraction in English, which I'm sure you also use.

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    #8

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post
    Why would another in be wrong? If I say, "Where are you going?" I couldn't really replace 'where' with 'in which' successfully.
    No, that's a different question, with a different kind of answer (e.g. to the bathroom).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post
    'That's the house wherein I was born.' is a bit Legalese, but understandable and carries another 'in' on top of said 'where'.
    No, that's not good. It's not Legalese at all and it doesn't carry an extra in. My advice is to not worry about wherein at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post
    Q: Where were you born?
    A: In that house.

    So, where carries the concept of 'in'.

    Q: Where were you born?
    A:On the moon.

    So, where now carries the concept of 'on'?
    Yes, that's right. They are different questions. The answers are adverbials. In the above two examples (but not in every possible case), they are prepositional phrases.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post
    If you are clever enough, you can associate 'where' with any locative preposition.
    Yes, (although you don't have to be particularly clever).

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    #9

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post

    'Tell 'em' is a very common contraction in English, which I'm sure you also use.
    The contraction of "them" to "'em" in speech​ is very common. Unless you are reporting speech, don't use it in written English.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: explain the difference in the relative clauses where .....in, which .....in

    Quote Originally Posted by Bide View Post
    They are Chinese students of English, who do not want an answer that is non-explanatory. They want to know why it's wrong.
    I fear these students are going to be repeatedly disappointed. It's much easier to show them why a phrase is right.
    I am not a teacher.

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