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—Can you believe I had to pay 30 dollars for a haircut?

—You should try the barber’s where I go. It’s only 15.

In the above sentence, can I replace "where" with "that" or omit it?

Can I say "You should try the barber’s that I go" or You should try the barber’s I go?

Thank you in advance!

1 Answer 1

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No, you cannot simply replace where with a relative pronoun or ‘null relativizer’.

This is because where itself is not a relative pronoun—it does not ‘stand for’ a noun or NP—but a relative adverb: it stands for a locative, a preposition phrase. Where in your initial sentence does not represent ‘the place’ but ‘to the place’.

Consequently, when you replace where with a pronoun you must at the same restore the preposition which is ‘embedded’ in its sense:

You should try the barber’s that I go to OR
You should try the barber’s I go to OR
You should try the barber’s which I go to OR
You should try the barber’s to which I go.

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  • What does "NP" mean? "noun phrase"? Can you give me an example? Thank you in advance!
    – April
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 7:50
  • @April An NP is a constituent which acts as a noun: it may be a noun with its modifiers (a noun phrase), but it may also be a clause, as in "I thought that you were home" - that you were home is an NP, the direct object of thought. Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 11:34

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