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Are there any differences between them? For example,

Conversion is the process whereby a value of one type is transformed into a value of another type.

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  • 1
    Cooking is a process whereby something is warmed; A pot is a utensil in which food can be cooked
    – mplungjan
    Jan 27, 2014 at 14:25
  • Still confusing...Can we say "cooking is a process in which something is warmed; a pot is a utensil whereby food can be cooked."?
    – kwgl
    Jan 27, 2014 at 14:31
  • They're just different ways of saying effectively the same thing. Personally, I happen to prefer whereby in OP's context, but doubtless some people will feel it's a bit dated/formal/stilted. Whatever - it's Primarily Opinion-Based. Jan 27, 2014 at 14:32
  • The difference is that they contain different prepositions—it’s the same difference as that between ‘by’ and ‘in’. Whereby = by which and wherein = in which. Jan 27, 2014 at 18:56

1 Answer 1

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Whereby is another way of saying by which. It denotes the means by which something occurs.

In which, however, denotes the place or process in which something occurs.

Thus,

'Conversion is the process whereby a value of one type is transformed into a value of another type.'

means that the process is the means by which the value is transformed; however,

'Conversion is the process in which a value of one type is transformed into a value of another type.'

means that somewhere in the process one type comes to be transformed, but the process is not necessarily the cause thereof.

The difference is subtle and most people will likely not notice it, but there it is.

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  • I see. So the essential difference lies in the difference between "by" and "in". Can I say that "whereby" and "by which" are completely the same? If yes, then I think I understood now.
    – kwgl
    Jan 27, 2014 at 19:37
  • Yes; whereby and by which are semantically identical. It comes from an Anglo-Saxon convention of saying herein instead of in this, thereof instead of of that, and whereto instead of to which, and so on. Although most of them are now considered archaic, we maintain a few like whereby, thereby, therefore, heretofore and so on.
    – Anonym
    Jan 28, 2014 at 1:24
  • @Anonym, So in your example, is the first sentence the correct one and the second sentence the wrong one?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 17, 2014 at 15:08
  • @Pacerier Both are correct but mean slightly different things.
    – Anonym
    Jul 17, 2014 at 17:25
  • @Anonym, But conversion is the cause of "value of one type is transformed into a value of another" isn't it?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 17, 2014 at 19:38

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