Quick answer
"Donde" is an adverb which is often translated as "where", and "en el que" is a phrase which is often translated as "in which". Learn more about the difference between "donde" and "en el que" below.
donde(
dohn
-
deh
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (indicating place)
a. where
Estoy en el restaurante donde comimos el otro día.I'm at the restaurant where we ate the other day.
b. wherever
Sal a donde quieras. A mí no me importa.Go wherever you want. I don't care.
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
2. (indicating place)
a. where
A él no le gusta jugar al beísbol donde no hay cancha.He doesn't like to play baseball where there is no field.
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
3. (indicating place)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Se van a reunir todos los primos donde tu tía para cenar.All the cousins will gather at your aunt's for dinner.
¿Nos vemos donde el teatro del otro día?Shall we meet by the theater we went to the other day?
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en el que(
ehn
 
ehl
 
keh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (general)
a. in which (thing)
La FAO organizó un simposio en el que participaron personalidades de todo el mundo.The FAO organized a symposium in which important figures from all over the world took part.
b. on which (thing)
A continuación, voy a explicar el principio en el que se basa esta teoría.I'm going to explain now the principle on which this theory is based.
c. in whom (person)
Al menos tienes un amigo en el que puedes confiar.At least you have a friend in whom you can trust.
d. where (place)
El lugar en el que nos encontramos ahora, era el aposento real.The place where we are now, used to be the royal chamber.
e. when (time)
El día en el que ocurrió el accidente, yo no estaba aquí.I wasn't here the day when the accident happened.
f.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
El concierto en el que estuvimos anoche fue genial.The concert we went to last night was great.
No te puedes imaginar el lío en el que me vi metido por no decir la verdad.You can't imagine how much trouble I got into for not telling the truth.
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