3

I heard the following comment of Mr. Marco Rubio about Mr. Donald Trump on CBS’s “Face the Nation” in a clip in February 29th AP Radio News:

“There is never gonna be a time where the Republican Party rallies around and says you have to get out or anyone has to get out for purposes of rallying around Donald Trump. Donald Trump is not Republican Conservative. Donald Trump is trying to pull off the biggest scam in American political history.”

I thought I misheard “There is never gonna be a time where –“ for “There is never gonna be a time when –“ at first, because I was in understanding that time should be trailed by “when” as a relative noun or adverb. An English Japanese dictionary at hand (Readers English Japanese Dictionary published by Kenkyusha) provides “where” singly as a relative to refer the ‘place.’

However, my lookup of the following two sources endorsed that I heard it right:

Here is what is never going to happen in this race. There's never going to be a time where the Republican Party rallies around and says you have to get out or anyone has to get out for purposes of rallying around Donald.. - Source

“Here is what is never going to happen,” Rubio continued. “There's never going to be a time where the Republican Party rallies around and says you have to get out or anyone has to ...

- Source Link

Is it common, at least not uncommon to use “where” after “time” as a relative?

  • 3
    I think this is likely a dialect thing: I would always consider the "proper" form to be "a time when" but I know some areas colloquially use "where" as a substitute. – John Clifford Mar 12 '16 at 0:35
  • 4
    It seems to me that "a time when" is so obviously a better phrasing that "a time where" that the latter seems to be merely an artifact of misspeaking in extemporaneous remarks. A more difficult call involves "a situation where" versus "a situation in which": here, the latter wording seems more proper in a technical sense, given that a situation is not the same as a physical location; but "in which" is stiff and formal, and "a situation where," in contrast, runs trippingly and un-self-consciously off the tongue. – Sven Yargs Mar 12 '16 at 2:57
  • 1
    It's not exceedingly common, but is certainly used. I might use it in a slightly different context -- perhaps something like "in a time where smarphones are sentient and money is obsolete." I would guess that "where" becomes more attractive when one wants to emphasize the existence of a new era,with paradigm shifts. That may have been Mr. Rubio's intent here, but it's a bit of a stretch,. – Hot Licks Mar 12 '16 at 23:00
1

"Time where" is not as idiomatic as "time when", but not impossible. More broadly used noun with the relative adverb where is "period" as in:

enter image description here

[European Community Contract Law, Volume 1]

If you consider the "time" used in the Marco Rubio's sentence as "a block of time" which you can visualize in a timeline, there is no reason that you can't use where after time as in:

enter image description here

[The Practice of Cloud System Administration: Designing and ..., Volume 2]

Also, time is synonymous with instance or occurrence (Definition 3.4 in Wiktionary).

It is a safe bet to say that you can use "where" after "time" when it is synonymous with instance or situation (circumstance) as in:

There is never gonna be an instance (situation / circumstance) where the Republican Party rallies around and says you have to get out or anyone...

3

The usage of "where" meaning "in which" referring to contexts different from a place has become commonly accepted now, as stated below by the Collins Dictionary:

Where (Usage note):

  • It was formerly considered incorrect to use where as a substitute for in which after a noun which did not refer to a place or position, but this use has now become acceptable: we now have a situation where/in which no further action is needed.

The expression you noted " a time where" has become more commonly used in the recent decades:

Ngram: a time where. Ngram: a time where vs a time in which.

protected by tchrist Feb 5 '17 at 0:25

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.