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Is it correct to say the following:

Let this be a year where there will be joy.

Or is there some more natural phasing for that sentiment in English?

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Why not just a simpler "Let this be a year of joy"? – Mohit Jan 1 '13 at 8:04
@Mohit OP did not say it is an own sentence. Obviously, it is a quotation. – Kris Jan 1 '13 at 13:27

The use of where with year seems a bit old school and is not that common. According to Google Ngram, when seems to be more prevalent with year and time in general than that of where.

There's nothing wrong with the sentence in question. However, I would probably consider writing what @KristinaLopez suggested.

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Thanks for the mention, Noah. I mulled over the same issue as you and Barrie regarding year/where. – Kristina Lopez Jan 1 '13 at 14:03

When has many, many uses. One of them is as a relative pronoun with the meaning ‘in or at which’. This is how it is being used in the example. Such use dates from the fourteenth century and, typically, is found in Shakespeare’s ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’: ‘To be in loue; where scorne is bought with grones.’

Whether it is a good idea to use it in contemporary English in the context of a year is a matter of personal judgment, depending on the context, the readers and the attitude of the writer. However, the Oxford English Dictionary has this twentieth-century supporting citation:

Undersown cereal can be difficult to deal with in a wet year where the corn is slow to ripen. (1963)

Moreover, the Corpus of Contemporary American English has 188 records which include the string year where, the British National Corpus 23. Not all will be examples of where being used in precisely this way, but a cursory examination shows that many are.

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Your example can be said a little more succinctly,

"Let this be a year filled with joy!"

While "...where there will be joy" is acceptable, a more common expression, at least here in the US, is to wish a year (or birthday or anniversary) be "filled with joy".

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See my comment @ipso – Kris Jan 1 '13 at 13:24
Thanks, @Kris, I did answer OP's question and offered an alternative based on common usage. – Kristina Lopez Jan 1 '13 at 13:52

There are better ways, but your statement would be understood. Perhaps:

“May the new year be filled with joy!” / “May your new year be filled with joy!”

“Let the new year be joyous!”

“Let this new year be filled with joy!”


(Just a few ideas. Happy New Year!)

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On writersSE maybe, but here on ELU the question is: is the given sentence is correct? – Kris Jan 1 '13 at 13:24

Since 'year' is usually associated with time and not place, I feel where is not a suitable relative pronoun to refer to it. I would rather use which instead:

Let this be a year which brings joy.

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