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Given these two:

  1. I’m seeking a position in which I could score many goals.
  2. I’m seeking a position where I could score many goals.

Which one is better than the other?

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Could should be can in both examples –  jwpat7 Feb 28 '13 at 19:23
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possible duplicate of "...situation where..." vs. "...situation in which..." –  Andrew Leach Feb 28 '13 at 21:05
    
I don't consider it is duplicated because that question is for a specific situation totally different as mine. –  yzT Feb 28 '13 at 21:25
    
@jwpat7 Pray why? –  Kris Mar 1 '13 at 9:02
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1 Answer 1

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IMHO, the first is better. Assuming you are talking about hockey or soccer, I take the sentence to mean you desire a position on the team that allows you to--or puts you in the position to--score goals. Yes? Lately, I've been noticing people using where inappropriately. For example:

Jim: Hey Bob, you're a lawyer, right? What is equitable estoppel?

Bob: Equitable estoppel is a doctrine where a person is prevented from asserting a particular defense or raising a particular issue because it is unfair to allow the party to do so.

My point: Bob should have used in which instead of where: "Collateral estoppel is a doctrine in which a person . . ." (or, "Collateral estoppel is a doctrine that prevents a person from asserting . . .).

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That's the point. Until recently I always used "where", but now I learned that sometimes "in which" means the same and fits better. For example talking about an email I know that I should use "in which" (e.g. I'm sending you an email in which everything is explained), but regarding to a position (be in sport, job or whatever) I didn't know which one fits better. –  yzT Feb 28 '13 at 21:22
    
@yzT: Yes, you seem to have the right idea. The use of "where" applies only to a physical location, as in "I own a cabin on the lake, where I fish during the summer." Or, "The problem is worse in Third World countries where sanitation is poor." Or, "She put her hand on my forehead where she then felt to see if I had a fever." I'm sure you get the idea. –  rhetorician Mar 1 '13 at 4:28
    
−1 for circular reasoning. "The first is better because people actually use the second but that is wrong." And the very premise, "the first is better", is prefixed with an "in my humble opinion" to boot, but somehow you forget about that halfway through your argument. (And "lately I've been noticing" is the red flag for recency illusion anyway.) In short: what you say might even be true, but you haven't proven it, merely stated. That barely qualifies for a comment. We expect answers to be supported by facts. If something really is incorrect, certainly you can back it up. –  RegDwigнt Mar 1 '13 at 9:57
    
@RegDwight: Good points. Facts are good, particularly when attempting to prove something in the "hard" sciences. When it comes to grammatical issues, on the other hand, sometimes a simple opinion can be all that is needed to answer a simple question. I was asked "Which is better?" I answered simply. By the way, number 2 could be perfectly acceptable if what is envisioned is a physical location on a playing field. If there is a position on a soccer team that makes scoring goals more likely, then the use of "where" (or "from where") would be acceptable. –  rhetorician Mar 1 '13 at 16:01
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