Can I ever reduce relative adverbs, i.e. where, when or why, in relative clauses?

I've read somewhere that we can reduce where if it follows "the place/somewhere/anywhere/anywhere/nowhere", but reducing where preceded by the place doesn't sound right to me.

  • 1
    There are essentially two options, both correct: "the place where we stayed last year" / "the place we stayed last year". Some speakers also allow "the place that we stayed last year".
    – BillJ
    Jan 10 at 18:40

1 Answer 1


Yes, in conversation it would be natural to say "the place I lived for 5 years" meaning "the place where I lived for 5 years". Omitting "where" could be seen as slightly informal.

  • Thank you! Is it too informal to be used in writing?
    – Ken Adams
    Jan 10 at 10:40
  • 1
    Not necessarily. From a work of fiction: "At that time he knew only vaguely that Hell was a place you did not want to go, like the dark basement or the even darker attic."
    – nschneid
    Jan 10 at 14:01

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