In the sentence:

You know, there are a lot of nice places you can spend your time there.

Is it grammatically correct or must it be ...there are a lot of nice places where you can spend your time.? And could the first sentence be corrected with commas or full stops to be used?


This phrasing does work better as two separate sentences:

You know, there are a lot of nice places.  You can spend your time there. 

As a single sentence, it goes a word too far:

You know, there are a lot of nice places you can spend your time. 

"You can spend your time" is a relative clause.  As phrased above, it is a contact clause, which simply means that the relating word is omitted.  Regardless of whether omitted or supplied, it serves a role in its clause.  It is the complement of "your time", as licensed by "spend". 

When the clause stands as a separate sentence, the word "there" takes the object complement role.  When the clause stands as a relative subordinate, that role goes to the relating word -- even when the relating word is merely implied.  Contact clauses are recognizable because they contain an otherwise unfulfilled predicative grammatical role. 

In your example, it is as if there are two words competing for that same role:

You know, there are a lot of nice places [where] you can spend your time there

Either fits, but both don't. 


Your sentence is correct only if you remove the word there. But you know, you know is informal and I don't think it is expected to be seen on papers.

To be clearer, as mentioned here:

The relative pronoun can only be omitted when it is the object of the clause. When the relative pronoun is the subject of the clause, it cannot be omitted.

Your sentences previously are: There are a lot of nice places. You can spend your time at those nice places. Your relative pronoun modifies an object. Therefore, you can omit it. Consider a pronoun replacing a subject:

There are a lot of nice places which are burning.

Naturally, when the relative clause uses prepositions or the noun preceding my relative pronoun defines place and time, I replace which (or which + at/in/...) with when or where.

Examples taken from here:

Do you remember the place where we caught the train?

I can rewrite it as:

Do you remember the place which we caught the train at?

Also consider this one:

My parents live in that house >>> That’s the house that my parents live in.


That's the house where my parents live.

To summary, you omitted the relative pronoun, you should also remove its counterpart.

  • Yep, whoever downvoted, I edited to specify the problem 'omission of relative pronoun' he's asking. – Lam Le Sep 27 '17 at 1:48
  • I don’t think the original sentence is correct. For one, it needs some punctuation. For another, the “you can spend your time there” doesn’t mesh well with the plural places. – J.R. Sep 27 '17 at 8:39
  • Agreed. My bad, I missed the last word 'there' this morning... – Lam Le Sep 27 '17 at 12:48

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