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In a multiple-choice question:

It's said that he's looking for a new job, one____ he can get more free time.

I think the best answer would be "from which," which is not an option. The answer given is "where," which I don't think makes much sense.

If it were "where," the sentence could be rewritten as "a new job where he can get more free time." I don't understand why "a job" could be the antecedent of "where," since the antecedent should be a location or "case," in other words, where being a location-relative pronoun.


PS: This question is all about why "where" can be used after an antecedent that's not a place.

(If there is anything that's not written as clear as it should be, please let me know)

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    Where as a conjunction We use where as a conjunction meaning ‘in the place that’ or ‘in situations that’. The clause with where is a subordinate clause and needs a main clause to complete its meaning. If the where clause comes before the main clause, we use a comma: …Subordinating conjunctions join independent and dependent clauses. A subordinating conjunction can signal a cause-and-effect relationship, a contrast, or some other kind of relationship between the clauses. ...Some Subordinating Conjunctions when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, whether or not, while
    – Brad
    Mar 31 at 4:34
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+50

Using "where" in this case would be most common in American English. You could also use "at which" but that sounds unnecessarily formal. The best way I can explain it is that "a new job" is thought of as an abstract place, for example it would be a new job at a different office or store, so "where" would be appropriate.

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  • @HypnoticBuggyWraithVirileBevy I think this is actually the correct explanation. Astralbee's alternatives are all fine, but I think their explanation is probably incorrect. Linguist Steven Pinker discusses such linguistic metaphors, which are surprisingly prevalent and layered, in at least one of his popular books ("The Stuff of Thought", I think -- highly recommended). Apr 10 at 20:12
  • You don’t have to interpret things as a place to use “where” even though it is easy to do sometimes. It can be used to refer to situations, for example Where there’s a will, there’s a way. or I found a new job after my office got moved to the basement. I don’t hang around where I’m not wanted. It might seem like that last one could be a place, but it’s not; it’s a situation.
    – ColleenV
    Apr 12 at 16:47
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It doesn't quite make sense. A job 'where' he has more free time sounds like the free time is at work.

If you mean that the job means fewer hours of work so that he has more free time away from work, you could instead say:

  • he's looking for a new job, one that gives him more free time.
  • he's looking for a new job, one that allows him free time.
  • he's looking for a new job, so he can have more free time.
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  • then how do u explain this sentence " a company you have never heard of wants to hire you for a job where you don't need experience or skills and can make a lot of money, ignore it" from the website The Balancecareers ( thebalancecareers.com/…) and there are many more examples online. Mar 31 at 11:45
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    @mirthspritzsultryobscurantism I explained it already. "Where" links something that actually happens at the job, to the job. Your example sentence means you don't need experience or skills at the job. The example in your question is about something that doesn't happen at work. Free time is outside of work. So it is wrong to say you have a job 'where' you have free time - you need to say you have a job that gives you free time. If you really, really want to say "where" then say "I have a job where I work fewer hours, so I have more free time".
    – Astralbee
    Mar 31 at 19:15
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Here "where" means "in a position to".

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