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That or when

Posted by Tom Yonehara on November 04, 2000

Hi!

The antecedent of the relative clause is [that Grace came down.] in sentence 1, I suppose. I'm wondering why [that] is used in this sentence instead of [when]. I feel [by the time when] sounds better, but...

1. [The tea was cold by the time that Grace came down.]

How about sentence 2, 3, and 4? I was told that [when] instead of [that] is not acceptable in sentence 2 while either [that] or [when] is okay in sentences 3 and 4. I really don't know why?

2. [It was on Monday that I bought the book.]
3. [It was in the morning that / when I bought the book.]
4. [It was Monday that / when I bought the book.]

Thanks a lot.

All the best,

T. Yone