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[Source:] The relative adverbs where, when & why can be used to join sentences or clauses. They replace the more formal structure of preposition + which used to introduce a relative clause.

1. How is preposition + which more formal? I did read the basics on relative adverbs.

2. When are and aren't preposition + which interchangeable with the relative adverbs?

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    Compare: My favorite month is always February, when we celebrate Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day. vs. My favorite month is always February, in which we celebrate Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day.; Do you know the reason why Isabel isn't in class today? vs. Do you know the reason for which Isabel isn't in class today?; I always look forward to the day when we begin our summer vacation. vs. I always look forward to the day on which we begin our summer vacation. – Damkerng T. Feb 4 '15 at 8:30
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I am not sure if I can justify WHY using "which" is more formal. From experience you are much less likely to hear preposition + which in casual conversation or informal writing, and you are more likely to hear where, when, why.

Switching which and where, when, why depends mostly on the style and structure of the rest of the sentence. Again, a formal or informal tone could make one a better option. I cannot think of any cases that truly cannot be changed.

My favorite month is February, in which we celebrate President's Day.

My favorite month is February, when we celebrate President's Day.

The first sentence is a little clumsy and overly formal, and you are more likely to hear the second one.

Yesterday I visited the park where I first learned to play baseball.

This tone is again casual and much better suited to "where" than "in which."

The company president gave a speech in which he announced there will be layoffs.

A layoff, losing a job, is quite serious. "In which" works quite well with the no-nonsense tone.

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