[Grammar] An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive

kadioguy

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In the Collins dictionary, it says:

ergative
adj

An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, where the subject of the intransitive verb is the same as the object of the transitive verb. For example, 'open' is an ergative verb because you can say 'The door opened' or 'She opened the door'.
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What does 'where' refer to?
Does it refer to 'in the verb' (where = in which)?
 

Raymott

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Yes.

"Where" is often misused in definitions though. "An ergative verb is where you can use the verb either transitively or intransitively." This is a wrong, but common, usage.
 

AussieLexie

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In the Collins dictionary, it says:

ergative
adj

An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, where the subject of the intransitive verb is the same as the object of the transitive verb. For example, 'open' is an ergative verb because you can say 'The door opened' or 'She opened the door'.
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What does 'where' refer to?
Does it refer to 'in the verb' (where = in which)?

'where' = 'in a situation in which'

An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, in a situation in which the subject of the intransitive verb is the same as the object of the transitive verb. For example, 'open' is an ergative verb because you can say 'The door opened' or 'She opened the door'.

Longman Dictionary defines 'ergative' less awkwardly.

...an ergative verb can be either transitive or intransitive, with the same word used as the object of the transitive form and as the subject of the intransitive form, such as ‘cooked’ in the sentences ‘He cooked the potatoes’ and ‘The potatoes cooked quickly’.
 

kadioguy

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In Practical English Usage 3rd, it says:

130.2
the place where ...; the day when ...; the reason why ...

We can use these expressions to emphasize a place, time or reason.

- Mary kept a pig IN THE GARDEN SHED.
The garden shed was the place where Mary kept a pig.
The place where Mary kept a pig was the garden shed.

- Jake went to London ON TUESDAY to see Colin.
Tuesday was the day when/that Jake went to London to see Colin.
The day when Jake went to London to see Colin was Tuesday.

- Jake went to London on Tuesday TO SEE COLIN.
To see Colin was the reason why Jake went to London on Tuesday.
The reason why Jake went to London on Tuesday was to see Colin.

The place, the day or the reason can be dropped in an informal style, especially in the middle of a sentence.

Spain's where we're going this year.

Why I'm here is to talk about my plans. (More formal: The reason why I'm here is ... )

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So I think in my case, it may be:

ergative

adj

An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, (the place/the situation) where the subject of the intransitive verb is the same as the object of the transitive verb. For example, 'open' is an ergative verb because you can say 'The door opened' or 'She opened the door'.
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(Or maybe it should include 'in', as AussieLexie said.)
 
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Tdol

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I would recommend just accepting the usage rather than agonising over it. But AussieLexie did suggest that the situation in which would work, rather than in where.
 

Matthew Wai

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An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, where the subject of the intransitive verb is the same as the object of the transitive verb.
I would simply use 'and' instead of 'where'.
 

kadioguy

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I would recommend just accepting the usage rather than agonising over it. But AussieLexie did suggest that the situation in which would work, rather than in where.
Thank you for your reply. I should have explained it more clear. :)

(Or maybe it should include 'in', as AussieLexie said.)

I meant:

An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, (in) (the place/the situation) where the subject of the intransitive verb ....


 
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Matthew Wai

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An ergative verb is a verb that can be both transitive and intransitive, in a situation where [...]
 
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