Using 'while'

English grammar (See all)

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Using 'While'

While (US) or whilst (UK) means 'during', 'when', or 'at the same time':
While (he was) living in Paris, Bruno created his first perfumes. It was during his time in Paris that Bruno created his first perfumes.
Icarus stepped into Polly's office while she was putting on her lipstick. Icarus stepped into Polly's office at the moment when she was applying her lipstick.
Whilst I was walking peacefully down the street, a wild pigeon defecated on my shoulder. When I was walking peacefully down the street, a wild pigeon defecated on my shoulder.

While can also express an idea of opposition (though, although):
While I agree with the President on several issues, I wouldn't trust him for another 4 years. Although I agree with the President on several issues, I wouldn't trust him for another 4 years.

While can also be a noun which would be translated as 'a short period of time' (this is not the case with 'whilst'):
I waited a while before Susie was willing to date me. I waited a short period of time before Susie was willing to date me.
After a while, the baby fell asleep. After a few moments, the baby fell asleep.
once in a while occasionally, from time to time


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