"The holiday season is here. This is a time when many of us plan to get away from it all. But what about the home that you are leaving behind?"

I want to know if I can use 'where' instead of 'that'? if not why we can't use relative adverbs like relative pronoun in every situation?


You cannot substitute a relative adverb for a relative pronoun: it replaces preposition + which. For example,

But what about the home in which you grew up?
But waht about the home where you grew up?

The preposition + which version tends to be used in more formal settings.

See this link for more examples.

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    @MickeyMouse: leave it as it is. Why would you want to use where in this context? You are trying to insert a preposition where no preposition is required, and so both of the sentences that you have proposed don't make sense. If you really really want to use where in a sentence, start off with a sentence that requires (in/at) + which. – JavaLatte Apr 3 '17 at 12:28
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    @MickeyMouse: relative pronouns and relative adverbs serve different purposes: it is unlikely that you will find a situation where you can replace a relative pronoun with preposition+which. – JavaLatte Apr 3 '17 at 15:20
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    @MickeyMouse: yes, that's fine then. Have a look at the link to see which relative adverb corresponds to which pronoun. – JavaLatte Apr 3 '17 at 15:59
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    @MickeyMouse (a) 'Pronoun' is a misleading term: which and who don't stand for a noun but for an entire noun phrase (NP), so it would more accurately be called a 'pro-NP'. In the same way, where is a 'pro-PP'--it stands for a preposition phrase (PP). (b) In your leaving behind example, home is not the object of behind, but the direct object of leave; behind is an 'intransitive preposition' which acts as an entire preposition phrase without an object. Consequently bare which is appropriate here--the home which you are leaving behind--because it refers to the place. – StoneyB on hiatus Apr 3 '17 at 16:01
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    @MickeyMouse: "..the reverse of that statement can't be true.. " I don't know what you mean. The two examples you suggested are fine as they are, and would also be fine as "at which" and "in which" respectively. – JavaLatte Apr 3 '17 at 18:28

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