Should it be:
Campus is a place in which children study.
Campus is a place where children study on.
Which one is correct, or are they both incorrect? Why?
Is there a better version?
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
In the sentence above, the Subject is she and the Object is football. What is that bit at the end, in the park? It is a Locative Adjunct (sometimes called a "Locative Adverbial"). It gives us extra information about where something happens.
Usually, Locative Adjuncts are preposition phrases. In the sentence above the Locative Adjunct is a preposition phrase in the park. The Head of the preposition phrase is the preposition in. This preposition has a noun phrase as a Complement. The noun phrase inside the preposition phrase is the park.
The relative words which and where
We use the word where to represent Locative Adjuncts. We use the word which to replace Subjects, Objects or Complements of Prepositions. Adjuncts are usually preposition phrases. Subjects, Objects and preposition Complements are usually noun phrases.
We often use relative clauses to modify nouns. So we have a main noun, the antecedent, and then we have a relative clause which comes afterwards:
In the sentences above the antecedent is the noun phrase the park, the relative clause is the bit in brackets, [ ]. Let's look at the relative clauses.
These clauses have a wh- word at the beginning. They also have a gap in them:
We understand that the wh- word represents that gap at the end. We can model the grammar like this:
If we look at the sentences above, we can see that where replaces the whole Locative Adjunct. It replaces the whole preposition phrase, the preposition and the noun.
In contrast, which only replaces the Complement of the preposition. It doesn't replace the preposition itself. We need to keep the preposition in the clause.
We have two choices about what we can do with this preposition that isn't replaced. We can either leave it where it is, or we can move it to the beginning of the relative clause. If we do this it appears in front of it's complement, the word which:
The second sounds quite formal. The first can be used in both formal and informal speech and writing.
The Original Poster's examples
A campus is a place in which children study.
*A campus is a place where children study in. (ungrammatical)
Campus is a countable noun, so we need to use the word a with it. Also, we do indeed study on a campus. However, the antecedent noun, the noun which is being modified, is place, not campus. We study on a campus, but in a place, so we definitely need the preposition in.
In example (1), the writer has kept the preposition in. They have only replaced the Complement of the preposition, a noun phrase. Because of this, they have used the word which. This is correct. We use which to replace noun phrases like this.
In example (2), the writer has used where. This means they should replace the whole Locative Adjunct. They need to delete the whole preposition phrase, not just the noun. So we don't want to see the preposition in here. The sentence should look like this:
We can understand the sentence like this:
The writer has three options then. They can use any of the following:
Hope this is helpful!
In case the Original Poster is going to use this sentence, we usually think about a campus as being part of a college or university, we don't use this word very much for schools where there are younger children. We might want to swap the word children for students or young people perhaps.
Campus is a place in which children study.
means the same thing as
Campus is a place where children study.
Now, if you add 'on' at the end, you're changing the meaning:
Campus is a place, where children study on.
This is the same form as going on versus going - it means insistent, ceaseless continuation. It's not that children dedicate the regular amount of time to studying, but that they keep studying way longer than they should - e.g. failing to pass to the next class, and repeating their classes.
I believe you might have confused it with the following:
Campus is a place children study at (or in).
Moving the preposition to the end of the sentence is correct, though discouraged practice. In this case this is equivalent to the "at which", or "in which" construction.