1

Which of these sentences is correct?

1- We often go to visit our friends in Cambridge, which is not far from London.
2- We often go to visit our friends in Cambridge, where is not far from London.

I've learnt in grammar books that when you are talking about places in relative clauses, you should use "where" to give some information about that place, I know in the above question the first sentence is correct, but why? Cambridge is a place, isn't it?

2

which refers to Cambridge as an entity.

... Cambridge, which is not far from London.

where refers to a locus. Things can be at a locus. A locus is a place where things can be. But the locus itself does not exist in and of itself. An unqualified locus cannot be near to or far from anything. It is an abstract concept.

We have to qualify it in order to predicate something of it:

... where he lives is not far from London. OK

... where is not far from London. not OK

  • I like what you said about Cambridge as an entity. That's why, for example, we could also say, "We often go to visit our friends in Cambridge, which is an old city." Or, "We often go to visit our friends at the beach, which is refreshing in the summertime." Grammatically, it's all same. Good answer to a great question. – J.R. Jun 1 '18 at 21:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.