ELA 4: Using Relative Adverbs: Where, When, and Why

Rather than deciding which which to use while describing witches which live in Greenwich, you might try a few of these relative adverbs. It'll make things a lot less confusing, trust us.

4th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School4th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:27

For example, telling your friends, “The city in which I was born is called New York”

00:32

feels a little too fancy-pants for cafeteria talk, doesn't it? [Friend looks confused]

00:36

Back in the day, it was normal to go around using the word “which” all the time. [Witch looks shocked]

00:40

It would be perfectly acceptable to say “The farm in which Isaac Newton lived was called

00:44

Woolsthorpe Manor” and “The reason for which Isaac Newton was relatively rich was

00:50

that his family owned many sheep.”

00:52

Nowadays, someone speaking that way would come across as pretentious – and not just [Woman looks unimpressed and sheep walk around in the background]

00:56

because they’re spewing facts about Isaac Newton for no reason.

00:59

Here’s where relative adverbs come in. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]

01:01

Relative adverbs are the words “where, when and why” when used to join sentences or

01:06

clauses… and their entire reason for being is basically to replace the super formal “preposition [Dino pointing at a blackboard]

01:12

plus which” that we used to use all the time.

01:15

By “preposition plus which”, we mean phrases like “in which”, “on which”, “for

01:20

which” “sandwich,” and so on. [Sandwich is crossed off the list]

01:23

So let's get back to our posh Isaac Newton fact-spouter.

01:26

Instead of saying “The farm in which Isaac Newton lived was called Woolsthorpe Manor,”

01:30

they could simply say “The farm where Isaac Newton lived was called Woolsthorpe Manor.” [The sentence being written out]

01:35

Instead of saying “The reason for which Isaac Newton was relatively rich was that

01:39

his family owned many sheep,” they could simply say, “The reason why Isaac Newton

01:43

was relatively rich was that his family owned many sheep.”

01:46

And instead of saying “The city in which I was born is called New York,” you could [Girl talking to her friends]

01:50

simply say “The city where I was born is called New York.” Definitely sounds a lot

01:55

more normal, right?

01:56

Still it's some odd lunchtime conversation, but who are we to judge? [Witch walks up to the table]