In one of my more recent posts, I enquired about forming fused/free relative clauses with 'what' and 'who' (relative pronouns). According to the answers I received, 'who' wouldn't normally occur in such constructions, but 'what' on the other hand can be readily used.

Typing in with that, I would like to seek how this would apply to relative adverbs, in particular 'where'. Below is a hypothetical conversation I came up with:

Driver: I think we are approaching a severe traffic jam.

Passanger: Then how about you let me get off (at?) WHERE you will be forced to stop. I rather walk to work than arrive late.

Basically, I am interested in knowing whether it is grammatically sound/natural to use 'where' in the context above to convey that I wanted to be dropped off at the particular position at which the driver will be caught in traffic." Also, is the use of 'at' before 'where' correct?

Furthermore, does the same apply to 'when'? Is it appropriate or not to use 'when' as a relative adverb in a fused relative clause?

Many thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Sure, it's natural. You seem to have a good grasp on the concept, so I'll just give you some examples:

Why don't you meet up with us where we had drinks that time?

Why don't you meet up with us when you get off from work?

She asked him to drop off the package where the receptionist sits.

She asked him to drop off the package when the receptionist gets back from lunch.

You can add modifiers like "about when" or "near where", but to me "at where" doesn't feel natural. Use either "at" or "where" but not both.

Please drop the package at the receptionist's desk.

Please drop the package where the receptionist sits.

  • Thanks for the answer. Should I say 'Drop me off where you stop' or 'Drop me off where you will stop' in the context I provided? I can't be sure because even though the driver hasn't stopped yet (will happen in future) using the future tense makes it sound as if the driver knows where exactly he will come to a halt, even though he doesn't.
    Feb 22, 2017 at 8:49
  • @JUNCINATOR "Wherever" you stop sounds more natural, since you didn't specify a particular place, like "where you usually stop" or "where everyone else is getting out". Or you could say "drop me off when you stop" although that's obvious since you don't want to get out of a moving vehicle.
    – Andrew
    Feb 22, 2017 at 19:02

This may be a late reply, but I came across this thread, and for educational purposes. I believe it is beneficial to mention that relative adverbs in these “fused” scenarios are technically just traditional subordinating conjunctions. Normal fused relative are synonymous with the term nominal relative clause for a reason—the clause functions as a noun clause. However, as we can see, fused relative adverbs do not do this, technically.

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