Grammar Tip – When it’s improper to use “where”

A word I frequently see misused is “where.” Writers often use it instead of the more appropriate “that” or “when.”

“Where” refers to a place or location. Be careful not to use when it does not have this meaning.

Incorrect:

Last week, there were two occasions where the photocopier malfunctioned.

Correct:

Last week, there were two occasions when the photocopier malfunctioned.

Incorrect:

I saw in the report where our shipments arrived late three times last month.

Correct:

I saw in the report that our shipments arrived late three times last month.

Again, “where” refers to a location.

Correct:

where

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