“In Which” Vs. “Where” – Difference Explained (With Examples)

Marcus Froland

Do you ever find yourself unsure which word to use: ‘in which’ or ‘where’? Never fear! In this article, we will explain the difference between them and give examples of when to use each one.

By the end of it, you’ll be an expert in knowing when to use ‘in which’ and when to use ‘where.’

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘In which’ is used for objects, while ‘where’ is used for places or positions.
  • ‘In which’ is a subordinate clause used to ask questions related to time, place, or circumstance.
  • ‘Where’ is a question word used to ask about the location of something.
  • ‘In which’ implies multiple options and requires a more specific answer, while ‘where’ can indicate any location or general direction.

What Is the Difference Between ‘In Which’ and ‘Where’

The difference between ‘in which’ and ‘where’ can be confusing, so let’s take a look!

In which is used when referring to something within a specific context, typically in relation to another clause. For example, ‘The bookshelf in which I keep my favorite books.’ Here, the word in which is referring to the shelf itself.

Where, on the other hand, is used to indicate location or position within a sentence. For instance: ‘Where do you want to go?’ In this instance, where is indicating a place or position as opposed to describing an object.

To sum up: when speaking of objects use ‘in which’, whereas if referring to places or positions use ‘where’.

Examples of ‘In Which’

You’ve heard of ‘where’, but what about ‘in which’? Let’s look at some examples.

‘In which’ is a subordinate clause used to ask questions related to time, place or circumstance. For instance: “At which restaurant did you eat?” and “In which city do they live?”

It can also be used in statements that draw attention to specific details: ‘The festival in which we celebrated was amazing.’ In this example, the speaker is emphasizing the festival as opposed to any other.

Examples of ‘Where’

Where’d you go last night?

‘Where’ is a question word used to ask about the location of something. For example, you might ask someone, ‘Where did you buy that shirt?’ or ‘Where do you want to eat dinner?’.

It can also be used to refer to an undefined place or an unspecified point in time. For example, ‘I have no idea where this path will lead us’ or ‘Let’s meet someplace where we can talk’.

Additionally, it can mean the source of what is being discussed. An example would be: ‘The money came from wherever he had been saving up for years’.

In all cases, ‘where’ is used to inquire about the location of something.

Using ‘In Which’ to Ask a Question

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ‘where’ and ‘in which’?

‘In which’ is used when a more specific question is asked, such as “In which room did it happen?”

‘Where’ is often used for less specific questions like “Where did it happen?”.

Both words are used to ask about location; however, there are some distinct differences in usage.

For example, ‘in which’ implies that there are multiple locations to choose from and one needs to be specified.

On the other hand, ‘where’ can imply that any location will do or can indicate general direction rather than a specific place.

When to Use ‘Where’ and ‘In Which’

When asking questions about location, ‘where’ is often used for more general inquiries. It focuses on location in general terms. For example, if you asked ‘Where is the restaurant?’, you would receive a single answer.

On the other hand, ‘in which’ implies that there are multiple options and one needs to be specified. It requires a more specific answer. For instance, if you asked ‘In which city is the restaurant located?’, it would suggest that there could be multiple cities involved, so you need to specify where.

It’s important to use the correct term when asking questions in order to get the information desired.


You should now understand the difference between ‘in which’ and ‘where’.

‘Where’ is typically used to refer to places.

‘In which’ can be used to ask questions or to describe something.

Examples of each have been provided so you can see how they are used in everyday language.

Remember that when you’re asking a question, ‘in which’ is usually the right choice, but if you just want to talk about a location, then go with ‘where’.