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Hello everybody,

I have two questions about the word "where" .

1.I've been told that "where" in the following sentence is a pronoun by its form :

Where did you get to?

And the explanation is that in possible answer like:

I got to page 4.

it stands for the noun phrase "page 4".

If it is a pronoun in this sentence,is it because of the stranding of the preposition,or in any question beginning with "where" it is to be understood as a interrogative pronoun,not an adverb.(i.e "Where are you going" --> "I am going to London",would it be interpreted that "where" stands for the noun "London").

2.When "where" is used as a subordinator to join two clauses like in the following sentence:

a) Macy's is the place where I buy my clothes.

what is "where" by its form in the subordinate clause "where I buy my clothes",a pronoun or an adverb?

And if "the place" is left out like:

b) Macy's is where I buy my clothes.

does it change anything? Is "where" to be understood as a pronoun (and what noun it replaces then),conjunction,or an adverb.

Many thanks

Velimir
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Hi,
my dictionary says "where" is an adverb, a conjuction, and a pronoun.
I am not an expert on grammar terminology or analyzing grammar, but if you want my non-official opinion, here it is:

Where did you get to? <-- Pronoun
Macy's is the place where I buy my clothes. <-- Conjunction
Macy's is where I buy my clothes. <-- Adverb

Emotion: smile
Hello Kooyeen,

First,thank you very much for your answer .
In the meantime I've got the answer on part 1 of my post .It is a question of a preposition at the end of a question.I understand that if ,for example, I ask :

Where are you going to? - "where" is a pronoun since it can be replaced with a noun phrase like "which place"

but in:

Where are you going? - "where" is an adverb here because it can be replaced by "to which place" what is an adverbial expression.

Anyway,this is my interpretation of the answer I've got on other forum. Also,it was my opinion that "where" in questions is always an adverb since it always renders some adverbial expression in answer,which can be equalized with "where" in the question no matter where you put a preposition. And generaly it is more an adverb even in situations with stranded preposition.

And you know, it is interesting that both in Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary and Oxford ALD "where" is indicated as an adverb and conjunction,but not as a pronoun. What means that they are of my opinion.I would put smiley here but I don't know how to insert it, so please imagine one. And one more.

Again,thank you very much for your answer Kooyeen

Velimir
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Hi again,
I think in many cases it's difficult (if not impossible) to say if "where" is used as a pronoun or as an adverb.
For example:

Where are you from? London, Paris, Rome... <--- You could say this is used as a pronoun.
Where are you? In the kitchen, over there, up here... <--- You could say this is used as an adverb

But I'm not sure there's always a clear distinction. I feel it's often a matter of interpretation, or maybe also context, so there's not only one right answer. Also, I am not an expert on this kind of things, so it's just my opinion. Emotion: smile

PS: if you want to use emoticons, you can select them in the panel above the box where you type in. You should see "Insert smiley" there.
«But I'm not sure there's always a clear distinction.»

Agree. The question is: "Why do you need to know it? Will it make your English better?"
Hello again,

I would say too that it is a tricky question for non-professionals like us Kooyeen.Thank you again for giving your explanation.By the way,I've read a good joke about this "Where are you going to".Maybe its an old joke,but I've read it only recently,so here it is :

A: Where're you going to?

B: Hey dummy, don't you know you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition?

A: Oh yeah; where're you going to,d...head ?

As to emoticons,unfortunately,I don't see "insert smiley",probably because of the browser(I use Opera,and I like it).

Hello Ant 222,thank you for joining this post.And thank you for giving me a chance to give one answer myself.

"The question is: "Why do you need to know it? Will it make your English better?"

The answer is: "Absolutely."

Here goes one smiling smiley.

Best regards

Velimir
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You're welcome, Velimir!

I don't know the answer to your question and I am glad of that! I don't think this sacred knowledge may be utilized in practical English, although it's a must for those mastering in theoretical grammar.
VelimirHello everybody, I have two questions about the word "where" . 1.I've been told that "where" in the following sentence is a pronoun by its form : Where did you get to? And the explanation is that in possible answer like: I got to page 4. it stands for the noun phrase "page 4". If it is a pronoun in this sentence,is it because of the stranding of the preposition,or in any question beginning with "where" it is to be understood as a interrogative pronoun,not an adverb.(i.e "Where are you going" --> "I am going to London",would it be interpreted that "where" stands for the noun "London"). 2.When "where" is used as a subordinator to join two clauses like in the following sentence: a) Macy's is the place where I buy my clothes. what is "where" by its form in the subordinate clause "where I buy my clothes",a pronoun or an adverb? And if "the place" is left out like: b) Macy's is where I buy my clothes. does it change anything? Is "where" to be understood as a pronoun (and what noun it replaces then),conjunction,or an adverb. Many thanks Velimir
Hi Velimir,

One of the functions of where, when, who ,what and which is to form a question. i.e. Where have you been! In this usage, it’s an adverb for places and locations.

When did you call? – “When”, like “which” and “what” is also an adverb, and it infers time.

Another function for these words is a conjunction which joints two separate concept or ideas together in a single sentence. i.e. “It was eight in the evening when she came home”.

“I saw a man who looked to be at his late 20’s coming out of your house around 4 in the afternoon when I came home from school.” This sentence contained 2 relative pronouns :who and when.

This may help you.

http://grammar.uoregon.edu/pronouns/relative.html

Hello Ant 222,

I wouldn't say that the answer on your question is so clearcut,that's all.What I'm saying is that by using grammar you speed up the process of the acquisition of the language.And it is beyond doubt.One reason I often come across in discussion on this issue is that a native learner may never learn grammar and still you will never have his/her grasp of language.Such comparison is ridiculous.Put somebody in the situation to live the language,to make for his/her living surrounded with that language,to ask for a glass of water,or a piece of bread,and I bet he'll learn the hardest chinese dialect in no time,along with the whole trillion symbols of alphabet if needed.But people like to make things complicated when they are not. I've read an interesting sentence in one post on the forum nearby:

"Chomsky suggested that children have a built-in mechanism, which he called the Language Acquisition Device, or LAD, which pre-programs them to develop grammar based on the linguistic input they receive."

Although I don't know the context of this sentence,I understand that children have a knack for languages and all other mankind doesn't.That is,children have one device for automatic learning and when they grow up that LAD gadget break down and they are not able to automatically learn anymore,and they have to fetch grammar if they want to learn a language.
Here goes a few trillions of smiling smilies.That would make learning of language very much similar to "Star Wars" or so.I would say that people enjoy making miracles out of everything.Let me be allowed to advise you not to fall for that kind of reasoning.I mean "Look at me,I'm a miracle,I speak english gorgeuously and I don't have to learn grammar",that kind of reasoning.

As to the learning of a second language,I believe that circumstances in which the learner lives make a difference.First of all,the need to use the language daily,how much you read,how much you listen the language,which depends on his/her place of living,job, his/her affinities i.e personality,lifestyle etc.So,your learning situation and my learning situation are two different situations.More or less different.An immigrant who lives in the USA and is exposed to the english language daily,will need less grammar stuff to learn,and I need more to know about it.It is simple as that.And although,the learning of a language is pretty specific,still it doesn't mean that you don't need grammar at all(as an ESL learner)since it gives the basis i.e the logic for learning.What grammar do is analysis of the mechanics of a language(i.e cutting into pieces)and then put it together in the way which will make it easier to you to learn.By the way,I remember it from high school that analysis and synthesis are scientific methods in acquiring (any) knowledge.If you give proofs that it is just a useless entertainment for idle men then you'll make a scientific breakthrough,and not only in the field of language.Here goes one smiling smiley.

I think that if an ESL learner avoided confusion caused by different terminology for the same concepts (which is a major problem)and occasionaly manage to find some help when he is baffled(as it is possible from this forum for example) he'll find grammar helpful,and will not shy of it.And there is no reason for that since in essence it is not difficult,so you can read it even you don't see its real value,and don't worry about your health,it will not put some special strain on your brain.Only when you read it and understand it you will know whether it is worth reading.
I think that Quirk gave neatly arranged structure for a correct acquisition of a language i.e its vocabulary. One can learn the bulk of the english language with the help of his grammar along with learning the vocabulary.Let's say 90% of it,and if somebody want to split hairs he may freely turn linguist,or if he want to learn some expression of Texas shepherds which he didn't understand and it gave him a headache,or solve logical puzzles in your leisure time,he can post a question on some forum.Or something.

Best regards

Velimir
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