When vs. Where

'When' and 'where' are wh-words commonly used in the English language. In this lesson, we will learn more about them and their similarities and differnces.

"When" vs. "Where" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'when' and 'where' is that 'when' is used to express time while 'where' is used to express location.

Parts of Speech

'When' and 'where' are really similar in their parts of speech. We have summarized it in a table for better understanding:

When Where
Interrogative Adverb
Conjunction Time Place
Subordinating Conjunction
Relative Adverb

As you can see in the table illustrated above, 'when' and 'where' are similar in their parts of speech that will discover in details now.

  • 'When' and 'where' can be used as interrogative adverbs. We use them at the beginning of question to acquire information about the time (when) or the place (where) of an action or event.

When are you coming home?

Where have you been?

Tip!

'When' and 'Where' as interrogative adverbs can also be used alone. This is often used in dialogues to keep sentences shorter or for expressing emotions.

A : I am going somewhere.

B : Where?

A : I have a meeting soon.

B : When?

I will always remember the day when we first met.

I will always remember the day where we first met.

  • As mentioned earlier, 'when' and 'where' are conjunctions. Conjunctions are classified in different categories. 'When' and 'where' are categorized as subordinating conjunctions.

I was on my way home, when I saw harry running down the street.

I used to sit where you sit now.

  • 'When' and 'where' can be used as relative adverbs. Relative adverbs describe a noun or noun phrase.

She remembers well when you first called her.

She remembers well where you proposed to her.

Usage

'When' and 'where' may be similar in their parts of speech; however, they are used in different contexts.
'When' is used to express time while 'where' is used to express place.

When are you going?

Here, we are asking about the time of someone's departure.

Where are you going?

Here, we are asking about the location of someone's destination.

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