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Hello, everyone!!

I have a question about 'when' in following sentence;
"There will be humans back on Mars in about four years when the area 4 mission team arrives."

While I'm inclined to consider it a relative adverb, I'm not sure if the relative adverb can take "in about four years" (prepositional phrase) as an antecedent. If so, this where should be an a subordinate conjunction, leading an adverb clause.

Would hope to get your clarification.

Thanking and Best RGDS,

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Hi, Deepcosmos,

The clause "when the area 4 mission team arrives" has the prepositional phrase as its antecedent. Notice you cannot say:

* When the area 4 mission team arrives, there will be humans back on Mars in about four years.

The clause is in apposition to the phrase and specifies its meaning further, but does not actually define it (in about four years, or in 2024, are sufficiently well-defined), so it should be preceded by a comma:

- There will be humans back on Mars in about four years, when the area 4 mission team arrives.

- There will be humans back on Mars in 2024, when the area 4 mission team arrives.

Compare with:

- There will be humans back on Mars in the year when the area 4 mission team arrives.

Hi, Deepcosmos,

The clause "when the area 4 mission team arrives" has the prepositional phrase as its antecedent. Notice you cannot say:

* When the area 4 mission team arrives, there will be humans back on Mars in about four years.

The clause is in apposition to the phrase and specifies its meaning further, but does not actually define it (in about four years, or in 2024, are sufficiently well-defined), so it should be preceded by a comma:

- There will be humans back on Mars in about four years, when the area 4 mission team arrives.

- There will be humans back on Mars in 2024, when the area 4 mission team arrives.

Compare with:

- There will be humans back on Mars in the year when the area 4 mission team arrives.

Hello, Gustavo,

Sincerely appreciate your very clear clarification.

Best RGDS,

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