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It is a sentence from the book ''Travel in Southeast Asia".

If one has a taste for mountains and hills, one can take a trip to the Shan hills where the weather is cooler.

In this sentence, what does ''where'' refer to?

  1. in the Shan hills
  2. the Shan hills
  3. on the Shan hills

I learn that 'where' is a relative pronoun. It means 'in which' or 'on which'. As the former place is the Shan hills, I think the answer is ''in the Shan hills''.

  • What do you think is the answer? Show us the research you have done, please. – P. E. Dant Sep 8 '16 at 4:03
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    I found 'where' means ''in which/on which.''So I think 'where' refers to 'in Shan hills''. – learner Sep 8 '16 at 4:04
  • When your question is edited for clarity, you should leave it as edited. In its original fornat, it is difficult to read and includes punctuation errors. Also, the word "where" is not a "relative clause." Can you tell us where you learned that? – P. E. Dant Sep 8 '16 at 6:10
  • @Alarn Carmack Can you explain it to me more? why you think 'where' refers to 'noun phrase' than 'a true location in this OP. – learner Sep 8 '16 at 6:10
  • @P.E.Dant I've edited my post.What about your answer for this question? – learner Sep 8 '16 at 6:51
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If one has a taste for mountains and hills, one can take a trip to the Shan hills where the weather is cooler.

Where is a relative pronoun. It can be used instead of in which and on which when talking about a location. It refers back to the nearest noun phrase, which is the Shan hills, which I might write as the Shan Hills. It does not refer to in the Shan hills because that phrase is not used in the sentence.

Where can also be used to stand for a noun phrase that is not a true location, for example to a situation, but this is beyond the scope of this question. I have mentioned this for completeness.

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