Relative adverbs

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Relative adverbs are words like where, when and why. Although they are adverbs, they are used to introduce adjective clauses.

Where

The relative adverb where is used to introduce an adjective clause that modifies a noun of place. It is used in the same way as preposition + which.

When

When can introduce relative clauses after nouns referring to time. It is used in the same way as preposition + which.

After common time expressions, when is often replaced by that.

The relative adverb why

The relative adverb why can be used to modify the noun reason.

Many writers now prefer that to why.

In an informal style, why / that is often left out.

See also

Adjective clauses
Relative clauses
Relative pronouns
Identifying relative clauses
Adverb clauses
Noun clauses
Synthesis of sentences
Transformation of sentences
The adverb too