6.1 Conventions of Standard English

Relative Adverbs

  • An adverb tells more about a verb. It can tell how, when, where, or why an action takes place.

    She quickly ran to the store.

     
      
  • A relative adverb introduces a group of words, or a clause, that tells more about a noun. Relative adverbs can be used instead of a relative pronoun plus a preposition. There are three main relative adverbs: where, when, and why.

    This is the store in which I bought my backpack. (relative pronoun plus preposition)

    This is the store where I bought my backpack. (relative adverb)

     
      
  • The relative adverb where means “in which” or “at which” and is used to refer to a place.

    This is the place where we met.

     
      
  • The relative adverb when means “in which” or “at which” and is used to refer to a time expression.

    Noon is the time when we eat lunch.

     
      
  • The relative adverb why means “for which” and is used to refer to a reason.

    I don’t know the reason why Larry isn’t in class today.

     
      

When you are ready, follow the link below to practice using relative adverbs.