I am wondering if "from where" is an acceptable relative phrase when we refer to a location.

For example:

You should stay at a hotel near the main station, from where/which you can travel everywhere in this country.

In this sentence, I think "where" is better but which is not wrong, as where refers to the location of the station and which refers to the station itself.

So, from where in this means "from at the station" or "from where the station is" and from which means "from the main station".

Did I distinguish between them correctly?

Any advice is welcome.

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    Normally, the choice should depend on whether the hotel is more importantly a building or a location. Because the location matters, "where" seems apt. But, the sentence is talking about a building, and so the ear wants the pronoun that goes with a building. Accordingly, I vote for "which." But both are grammatically correct, and "where" would not be at all objectionable.
    – remarkl
    Feb 27, 2019 at 17:35
  • @remarkl Thank you for replying. So do you mean that if it's a building or facility that we have to go in and use the equipment inside, it should be "from which", if it's merely a location, we use "from where"? So in another case, "The government is going to build a new airport, from which/where thousands of people will travel to other countries", which should be chosen because it's a building that people have to walk in and use the facilities inside in order to traevel. Feb 28, 2019 at 12:23
  • I am saying only that in the case of a hotel, "which" sounds better. Likewise, it sounds better for "airport," because it's a thing not a place. Indeed, "which" is especially good for "airport" because it's a facility from which planes leave, and it's precise location (as compared to a hotel in walking distance of tourist attractions) is not terribly important to one's choosing it. I am not stating a "rule" so much as a reason for a preference.
    – remarkl
    Feb 28, 2019 at 12:38
  • @remarkl How about this sentence: Last week we visited China, from where/which my parents immigrated to the USA twenty years ago. What would you choose? Feb 28, 2019 at 15:09
  • 1
    @remarkl I agreed with you that "which" sounds better. I think it also has something to do with the verbs we use. Words like "move" and "immigrate" is not only about moving from one location to another, but also involves the intention of living there permanently. So, here "from which" is used because "China" here is not just a location, but the object of the phrase "immigrate from". However, in this sentence I believe you will definitely use "from where": We drove to New York, from where we flew to Washington". In this sentence "New York" is just a location where we took a flight. Feb 28, 2019 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


You should stay at a hotel near the main station, from where/which you can travel everywhere in this country.

Yes, either construction is fine. To my ear, "from which" sounds more natural and more like native English, but it's a slight difference.

Superior to either, in my opinion, but also archaic enough to probably raise a few eyebrows, is: You should stay at a hotel near the main station, whence you can travel everywhere in this country.

  • Thank you for replying! I am not a native speaker so maybe your native speaker ears are more "right". But whence actually equals "from where". Feb 27, 2019 at 16:03

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