Where

'Where' is a WH-word. In this lesson, we will discuss the rules of using 'Where.'

How to Use "Where" in the English Grammar

Where is one of the Wh-words and is used in different cases. You can learn five functions of where in this lesson:

1. 'Where' as an Interrogative Adverb

Use

Where as an interrogative adverb is used to ask about the place of something.

A : They are at home.

B : Where are they?

Position in a Sentence

Where as an interrogative adverb comes at the beginning of a clause, requiring an inversion.
Three steps should be taken to make an inversion:

  1. The interrogative adverb comes at the beginning of a clause.
  2. The adverb of place is removed.
  3. The subject and the verb are inverted.

Tip

1. The subjects I and we are replaced with you.
2. If there is a main verb in a sentence, a semi-auxiliary or an auxiliary verb is needed for interrogation.

Here is an example:

A : I work here.

B : Where do you work?

Tip

Where as an interrogative adverb is used alone and shows emotion. For example:

A : I went to Siberia.

B : Where?

2. 'Where' as a Conjunction of Place

Use

Where as a conjunction of place functions as adverbs. It introduces an adverbial clause that describes the verb, the adjective, or another adverb in the main clause. Where here means 'in the place that.' Look:

I used to work where you work now.

'Where you work now' is an adverbial clause and adds more information to the verb 'work' in the main clause.

Position in a Sentence

Where comes before an adverbial clause that precedes or follows the independent clause.
Now, take a look at an example:

I used to work where you work now.

'Where you work now' as an adverbial clause can be used after or before 'I used to work.'

Tip

Note that prepositions can precede the conjunction of place where. Here is an example:

I work in this corporation from where the brutal murder began.

3. 'Where' as a Subordinating Conjunction

Use

Where as a subordinating conjunction is used to show contrast, concession, or condition. The clause introduced by where is called the adverbial clause. Now take a look at its uses and some examples:

  • Where shows contrast and has a similar meaning to whereas; look:

I came back home where she wanted to stay there.

  • Where shows concession, and has a similar meaning to although; for example:

I had to read a horror book where I really wanted to watch a horror movie.

  • Where shows condition and has a similar meaning to if. For example:

Where nobody stays at home, I can go out.

Position in a Sentence

Where as a subordinating conjunction comes before an adverbial clause. An adverbial clause comes before or after the main clause.

Where nobody stays at home, I can go out.

'Where nobody stays at home' can be used before or after 'I can go out.'

4. 'Where' as a Relative Adverb

Use

Where as a relative adverb describes the preceding noun/noun phrase in the main clause. It heads a clause and makes it adjectival, known as an adjective clause, functioning as an adjective and describing a noun.
Now, take a look at an example:

I never forget the restaurant where you saw me.

'Where adds more information to the antecedent 'the restaurant.'

Position in a Sentence

Where as a relative adverb always comes at the beginning of the adjective clause. Look:

I never forget the restaurant where you saw me.

'Where' marks an adjective clause that comes after the independent clause 'I never forget the restaurant.'

5. 'Where' as a Nominal Relative Pronoun

Use

Where as a nominal relative pronoun marks a nominal relative clause, functioning as either objects or subjects of the main clause. In other words, where connects a nominal relative clause to an independent clause. Now, take a look at an example:

I do not know where I should go.

'Where' introduces the relative clause 'I should go.'

Position in a Sentence

Where as a nominal relative pronoun always comes at the beginning of the relative clause in two ways.

  • Where can precede a nominal relative clause that is a sentence; for example:

I do not know where I should go.

'Where I should go' is the object of the verb 'know.'

Where you go doesn’t matter.

'Where you go' is the subject of the verb 'matter.'

  • Where can precede a nominal relative clause that is an infinitive. For example:

I do not know where to go.

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