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Question The song reminds him of the time (that/when) he was in California.

hirashin

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Hello, native English speakers,

Do you use (a) and (b) interchangeably?
(a) The song reminds him of the time he was in California.
(b) The song reminds him of the time when he was in California.

An American person in another site says this:
We would use the word, that or a comma, not the word, when.
The song reminds him of the time, he was in California.
The song reminds him of the time that he was in California.

I don't think "The song reminds him of the time, he was in California." is correct.
What do you think? Is it true that Americans don't say "the time when he was in California"?
 

mdchachi

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bentenmusume

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I would recommend being circumspect about trusting the words of strangers claiming to be native speakers on the internet (unless you know them and they have given you helpful and accurate advice in the past). As you correctly identified, a comma is not correct there, and anyone saying that Americans would use a comma there is either (1) not really a native speaker of American English, or (2) lacks the fundamental grammar knowledge or writing skills to teach the language to others.

For what it's worth, all of the following patterns would be acceptable to me.

(a) The song reminds him of the time he was in California.
(b) The song reminds him of the time when he was in California.
(c) The song reminds him of the time that he was in California.

My order of preference would be (a), then (b), then (c), but none of them are "wrong".
The comma version that other person gave you is wrong.
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, mdchachi and bentenmusume.
 
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