I was reading the novel "Moby Dick", <when> the house next door caught fire.

park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The following is of my own making.
1. I was reading the novel "Moby Dick", when the house next door caught fire.

I'd like to know here whether "when" could be a relative adverb.
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    It's a conjunction in your sentence (the comma is not needed). But it could be a relative adverb:
    - When did you read the novel "Moby Dick"?
    - I read it (on) the day when the house next door caught fire.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I agree exactly: VikNikSor's example attaches 'when' to an antecedent noun, but there's no antecedent in your original example. There it's just joining two clauses.
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, VikNikSor and entangledbank, for your so very helpful answer.:)
    I was wondering by any chance if "when" can take the former clause as an antecedent like "which."
     
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