Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    17
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default when+ ing / whilst + ing

    Dear teachers,

    Is it correct the use of when and whilst + -ing in the following sentences?

    - I first became interested in your cause when reading a report on the breeding farm of monkeys in Coven (Germany), published in the magazine "Friends of Earth".

    - I achieved a first degree while undertaking extra-curricular activities.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Smile Re: when+ ing / whilst + ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ochinoam View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Is it correct the use of when and whilst + -ing in the following sentences?

    - I first became interested in your cause when reading a report on the breeding farm of monkeys in Coven (Germany), published in the magazine "Friends of Earth".

    - I achieved a first degree while undertaking extra-curricular activities.

    Many thanks in advance!
    Yes, these sentences are correct. The grammar topic here is "reducing adverbial clauses to adverbial phrases".

    Some people object to using a progressive form with "when", saying that one should use "while". However, I see nothing wrong with using "when" in such a case.

    ... when I was reading a report on the breeding of farm monkeys ...
    ... when reading a report on the breeding of farm monkeys ...

    ... while I was undertaking extra-curricular activities ...
    ... while undertaking extra-curricular activities ...

    Please, post follow-up questions if you have any.

    Last edited by PROESL; 31-Jul-2009 at 14:42.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    17
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: when+ ing / whilst + ing

    Thank you very much!

    I wrote "when" because the action took place over a very short period of time (let's say 20 minutes). Instead, I wrote "while" in the second sentence, because the action took place over a longer period (4 years).

    Is there any preference regarding "while" or "whilst"?

  4. #4
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,507
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: when+ ing / whilst + ing

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Yes, these sentence are correct. The grammar topic here is "reducing adverbial clauses to adverbial phrases".

    Yes, and, unlike the participial supplementives discussed recently, these really are reduced adverbial clauses!!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,036
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: when+ ing / whilst + ing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ochinoam View Post
    Thank you very much!

    I wrote "when" because the action took place over a very short period of time (let's say 20 minutes). Instead, I wrote "while" in the second sentence, because the action took place over a longer period (4 years).

    Is there any preference regarding "while" or "whilst"?

    You are more likely to hear or read "whilst" in British English. We don't use "whilst" in American English. Of course, it's not impossible, but it would be an extremely rare occurence. I'm not sure of just how frequently one could expect to hear or read "whilst" in BrE, but I suspect it's not that common.

    There's no problem with using "when" in your sentence.

    Last edited by PROESL; 31-Jul-2009 at 14:46. Reason: typo

Similar Threads

  1. [Idiom] The matter of Whilst
    By abaka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 26-Jan-2009, 23:13
  2. whilst or while?
    By Claire Haywood in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28-Jun-2008, 10:55
  3. Who could do me a huge fafour and have a look at my essay???
    By Dina1978 in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-Nov-2005, 01:31

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •