I'd like to know which relative clause is used to when I want to speak about an incident.

For example, I've seen this sentence

"we've had countless incidents where cattle and animal stock have become diseased"

If is it correct, why do you use where?

Thank you

  • Because it avoids saying incidents in which, which some people find old-fashioned.
    – Lambie
    Mar 23, 2021 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure how helpful this is, but the OED says "where" can also mean "in which" when introducing an additional statement, and certainly you could substitute "in which" for "where" in your example. Yes it's correct, and perfectly understandable. Here's the relevant entry, with attestations:

I particularly like the 1584 spelling of where as quhair

b. Introducing an additional statement (cf. 7b): In or at which; and there; hence, †whereupon, and then.

c1500 Melusine (1895) 238 She consyderyng the daunger where bothe she & her peple had be

1584 King James VI & I Ess. Prentise Poesie sig. Kv Ignorants obdurde, quhair wilfull errour lyis

1597 Shakespeare Richard II v. ii. 5 Yorke. Where did I leaue? Du. At that sad stop my Lord, Where rude misgouerned hands..Threw dust..on king Richards head.

1692 tr. C. de Saint-Évremond Misc. Ess. 98 There is no life so regular, where particular Actions don't sometimes exceed the general habit and conduct.

1792 Jrnl. House of Commons 2 Apr. 47 641/2 In a Case where the Officers had broken into a Bedchamber.

1887 W. P. Frith Autobiogr. I. xxi. 284 It is difficult to put one's finger on the precise spot where confidence merges into conceit.

Source: OED(dot)com

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