It was no strain on the voice, and I guessed that Miss Glaser knew what she was doing when she chose it.

What parts of speech are "what", "when" and "that"?

I assume they are subordinating conjunctions but they may be pronouns or adverbs.

1 Answer 1


In your examples according to modern grammar the word that is a subordinator; the word what is a pronoun; the word when is a preposition.

In old fashioned grammar the word that is a subordinating conjunction, what is a pronoun and when is a subordinating conjunction.

  • Could you, please, as well tell me what type of pronoun is "what". Probably a relative one?
    – Daisy
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 17:56
  • @Daisy Yes, we'd call it a relative pronoun :) In your example, that is. There's also an interrogative pronoun too! Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 17:59
  • Interrogative pronoun? I thought we use them only in questions...what do you mean?
    – Daisy
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 18:06
  • @Daisy No! not in your example! I just meant that there is more that one pronoun called "what"! :-) So the word "what" isn't always a relative pronoun, that's all. Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 18:07

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