How can the sentence

I know where he goes

be understood?

In my opinion, there are two interpretations of this sentence. One translation is:

I know the thing that he goes somewhere.

In this case, "where he goes" is used as an independent sentence.

A second is:

I know the place that he goes to.

In this case "where he goes" is treated as a substantive or noun.

Which is more correct?

  • I think it has to be an interrogative, where the meaning is "I know the answer to the question 'Where does he go?'" "
    – BillJ
    May 9 '20 at 15:55
  • I don't think any native speaker would ever interpret it to mean "I know the thing that he goes somewhere." (I also think you mean the fact that he goes somewhere.) If you wanted to say that, you would have to say "I know that he goes somewhere."
    – stangdon
    Jul 16 at 17:20

The usual interpretation of this statement is that you know the answer to the question "where does he go?". This would imply that he goes there somewhat often or regularly. I believe this usage of where is considered a pronoun.

To talk about where he is on the way to at the moment when you're speaking you'd say "I know where he is going".

To talk about your knowledge of his behavior rather than your knowledge of the destination, you might say something like, "I know he goes there" if the destination has already been established in context, or "I know he goes somewhere" if you don't know what the destination is.

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