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 Post subject: difference between usage of when, while
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:31 pm
Posts: 4
Hi Steve,
I've some problem when I use "while" and "when" as conjuntion. I read all samples in grammer part and understand the sentences perfectly but when I use these two conjuntions, I still confuse.

I may confuse just because that I don't understand the difference between "at that time" and "during the time" clearly.

I would be grateful if you explain the difference.

Thank you in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: difference between usage of when, while
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:24 pm
Posts: 559
Hi,

Please ask English questions in the English questions board. But I will answer it here now.

In some sentences, "while" and "when" can be used in the same way. For example:

"You won't be able to eat when you're laughing."
"You won't be able to eat while you're laughing."

Both sentences mean the same thing.

However, in some cases, there is a difference.

"John opened the door when I knocked."
"John opened the door while I knocked."

One of the definitions of "when" is "just after" that implies suddenness. In the first sentence, John opened the door immediately after I knocked.

"While" is the time period of the action. Therefore, John opened the door while my hand was presently knocking on the door.

"at that time" is a single time period. This is closer to "when"
"during the time" is time period between the start and end of an action. This is not a specific time, but could be 2 hours (while I was watching a movie).

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Steve Kim
English Teacher
TalkEnglish.com Founder


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