4
1. (a) We need a place where we can stay.
   (b) We need a place (that) we can stay. (no preposition at the end of clause)

2. (a) We need a house where we can stay.
   (b) We need a house (that) we can stay in.
   (c) We need a house which we can stay in.
   (d) We need a house in which we can stay.

Questions:

  1. Why are prepositions not used when antecedent is 'place'? (like 1.(b) )

  2. If we use 'which' with antecedent 'place', which following noun clauses are correct?

    Nc1. A place which we can stay. (no preposition at the end)

    Nc2. A place which we can stay in.

    Nc3. A place in which we can stay.

  • 2
    In practice, most native speakers wouldn't get bogged down in prepositions and relative pronouns here - we'd just say "We need a place to stay". But for no specific reason that I can identify, if I replace place with house there it seems to require the preposition: "We need a house to stay in". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 25 '14 at 16:00
  • 1
    There is some related info in the 2002 CGEL, on page 1053, example [61], in subsection "Time, reason, place, path, and means", and on page 1045, example [32]. There are multiple issues involved, and they are not all that easy to quickly explain. You might want to try and find a copy in order to read that info yourself, and you might then have some additional questions. Note that CGEL is the 2002 reference grammar by Huddleston and Pullum et al., The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. – F.E. Sep 25 '14 at 18:49
1

We don't use any preposition with "that", likewise in here with "where" preposition is optional, and better avoided. "which" on the other hand can take prepositions, but in your example sentences (with blue backgrounds) using "which" is odd, not only that I might go as far say saying it's wrong, hopefully not sounding erroneous :)

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    I think in your reply 'We don't use any preposition with "that"..' is not always correct. for a example the noun clauses like 'The picture that we looked at ,The hotel that we stay in ' must put the preposition at the end of noun clause. – Dinusha Sep 25 '14 at 16:18
  • 1
    @Dinusha Actually I meant preposition + "that" is not allowed. The same goes for preposition + "where". But we use - The place where we live in & The place where we live. – Man_From_India Sep 25 '14 at 16:20
  • 2
    Is the clause'The place where we live in' correct? My opinion is 'The place where we live' ='The place in which we live'. so I think when relative pronoun is 'where',the preposition is not essential at the end of clause. – Dinusha Sep 25 '14 at 18:03
0

The following applies to North American English; I am not as familiar with other varieties.

I would not consider 1(b) grammatical. I would expect to see a preposition there: "We need a place that we can stay in."

For your second question, Nc2 and Nc3 would both be fine. Nc1 is not correct, because it lacks the preposition which indicates the relationship between the speaker and the place/house.

The distinction isn't the relative pronoun, it's the verb. "Stay [without a direct object]" means to stop oneself from moving; to rest, to hold still. We use "in [location]" with this verb to indicate where the speaker is at rest. "Stay [as a transitive verb]" means to affix, to cause the direct object to stop moving (like definitions 10-16, linked). So unless you are attempting to cause the place to stop moving, you need to use "in" to introduce the location where the speaker is staying.

| improve this answer | |
  • According to your answer we must put the preposition at the end when that is the relative pronoun here .but my grammar book(OPEU) says 'We need a place (that) we can stay for a few days' is correct and not 'We need a house we we can stay for a few days'. What do you think about this? – Dinusha Sep 25 '14 at 16:40
  • I can't find any reference to "OPEU" online (other than the Oregon Public Employee's Union). What's the full name of the book? I would accept "We need a place to stay for a few days" but not "We need a place we can stay for a few days." It's possible my use of English is atypical, but I'd want to check out this book. – Tiercelet Sep 25 '14 at 17:16
  • Oxford Practical English Usage grammar book (page-483). I don't think this book can be find to online.so I will give you the paragraph that I saw it,'-Tropic-When,where etc replaced by that or dropped- – Dinusha Sep 25 '14 at 18:20
  • @Tiercelet Michael Swan's Practical English Usage is a pedagogical grammar for L2 speakers. It's very popular among learners. It's usually called PEU for short, though, rather than OPEU. – snailplane Sep 25 '14 at 18:35
  • 1
    Oxford Practical English Usage grammar book (page-483).I don't think this book can be find online.so I will give you the paragraph that I saw it,"(topic)When,where etc replaced by that or dropped --After common nouns referring to time ,when is often replaced by that or dropped.e.g.come and see us anytime (that)you're in town. The same thing happens with where after somewhere,anywhere,everywhere,nowhere and place(BUT NOT after other words) e.g.1.Have you got somewhere (that)I can lay down? 2.we need a place (that)we can stay for a few days.(BUT NOT we need a house we can stay for a few days.)" – Dinusha Sep 25 '14 at 18:44

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.