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Hello
I don't know which one of these sentences is grammatically correct.

The month I took the exam was November.
The month when I took the exam was November.

Is the word "when" in the second sentence redundant or necessary or optonal?
Thanks for your help in advance.

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modern teal 757Is the word "when" in the second sentence redundant or necessary or optonal?

I call it awkward. Most people would say "The month I took the exam was November." That derives from "The month I took the exam in was November" and not "The month when I took the exam was November." That "in" also sounds awkward, but the full form is even worse—"The month in which I took the exam was November." So we say "The month I took the exam was November." English is quite flexible once you can relax to it.

Comments  
modern teal 757The month I took the exam was November.The month when I took the exam was November.

Those above are not cleft sentences.

------

I took exams in November.

a) It was me who took exams in November.

b) It was in November that I took exams.

c) It was exams that I took in November.

a, b, and c are cleft sentences derived from the declarative sentence I took exams in November.

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anonymous
modern teal 757The month I took the exam was November.The month when I took the exam was November.

Those above are not cleft sentences.

------

I took exams in November.

a) It was me who took exams in November.

b) It was in November that I took exams.

c) It was exams that I took in November.

a, b, and c are cleft sentences derived from the declarative sentence I took exams in November.

All those examples are declaratives, so I think you mean "derived from the basic (non-cleft) sentence "I took exams in November".

 anonymous's reply was promoted to an answer.

A and B are possible cleft sentences with the right context.

I took (the) exams in November. This base sentence indicated that I ( as subject) took the exam, You need a definite article

a) It was me who took exams in November. The implication of this cleft variance is "Who".

b) It was in November that I took exams. This is about "when".

c) It was (The) exams that I took in November. This is wrong with subject agreement and without the article

a, b, and c are cleft sentences derived from the declarative sentence I took exams in November.

All those examples are declaratives, so I think you mean "derived from the basic (non-cleft) sentence "I took exams in November".

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