<where> she studies computer systems and graphic arts

Tenacious Learner

Senior Member
Spanish
Hi teachers,
What part of speech is "where" in the following sentence? Is it a conjunction or a pronoun? How can I differentiate when it's one or the other? Is it a pronoun because "where she studies computer systems and graphic arts" is a non-defining relative clause?

She is in her last year at the University of Heidelberg, where she studies computer systems and graphic arts.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ...
    What part of speech is "where" in the following sentence? Is it a conjunction or a pronoun? How can I differentiate when it's one or the other? ...
    I'm not sure you need to differentiate - perhaps it's a pronoun because it replaces the University of Heidelberg and it's a conjunction because it links the relative clause to the main clause?

    I'd say it's a relative pronoun, but I'm sure someone else will say that it replaces the whole adverbial phrase
    at the University of Heidelberg.

    [Cross-posted with EMP - we seem to agree.]
     

    Tenacious Learner

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Hi again,
    But the relative pronouns, if I'm not mistaken, are: who, whom, which, whose, and that. How come "where" can begin a non-defining relative clause and connect extra information to a sentence?

    TL
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    When the place is such that you don't need any more information to identity it, the information given by the clause beginning with "where" is extra information. That's why a comma precedes "where" to make it a nonrestrictive clause.
     

    Tenacious Learner

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    When the place is such that you don't need any more information to identity it, the information given by the clause beginning with "where" is extra information. That's why a comma precedes "where" to make it a nonrestrictive clause.
    Hi EMP,
    Thanks for your explanation. I just found this one:
    Relative clauses are usually introduced by a relative pronoun (usually who, which, that, but when, where and whose are also possible). Do you agree?

    TL
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Of course, equally common. I don't know why the last three words have been treated separately, especially "whose", which is a pure pronoun, if " when" and "where" are separated for being adverbs.
     
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