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Thread: while

  1. #21
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    It can also be noted that in these sentences, 'while' keeps a bit of his 'simultaneity' meaning, whereas we're talking about two successive events in Taka's sentence. 'While' might not be very accurate to this regard in the original sentence.

    FRC

  2. #22
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by twostep
    He turned the sentence and thus the structure around.
    Yes, I intentionally made it that way. :D

    The street is wet while it is not rainy.
    I thought the reason why it did not make sense was that you detected the dissonance because the tenses were incompatible. I didn't think the word order was that much significant for the semantic determination. So I made the tenses compatible while I kept it "X while Y."

    But now it really seems that the order IS the determinant. :(

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    When you turn it around, it becomes correct. Strange, isn't it?
    Strange, it is, really. And I do want to know why (I mean, it's the same "while", right? What psychology is there behind that makes "while" "although" in one case, and doesn't in another??)

  3. #23
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I think it's because the position that sounds wrong raises the spectre of the other meaning of while.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: while

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    The question:

    The street is wet ( ) it hasn't been raining.
    1.while 2.since 3.because 4.even though


    It should be #4, but I don't know exactly why #1 is not possible.

    Does anybody know why?
    Semantics/Ambiguity
    Continuity: while + has been -ing = at the same time, during:

    While/During the time that it hasn't been raining, the street is wet. :(

    Repair Strategies
    1. Change the subordinator:
    Although it hasn't been raining, the street is wet. :D

    2. Change the tense:
    While it hasn't rained (all day), the street is wet. :D

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol
    If you said 'while it hasn't been raining, the street is wet' it works
    FRC

  6. #26
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I think it's because the position that sounds wrong raises the spectre of the other meaning of while.
    Er...what do you mean, tdol?

  7. #27
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    Without the inversion, the sentence is too prone to confusion.

    FRC

  8. #28
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    Without the inversion, the sentence is too prone to confusion.

    FRC
    I see. And why do you think it is so?

  9. #29
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    I'm not sure. I admit it took me a couple of seconds to understand why you thought 'while' could fit in the original sentence, whereas it's obvious with the inversion. It makes me think of 'since', which can introduce causatives in addition to the usual temporal meaning. The typical tricky exam question.

    FRC

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    I'm not sure. I admit it took me a couple of seconds to understand why you thought 'while' could fit in the original sentence, whereas it's obvious with the inversion. It makes me think of 'since', which can introduce causatives in addition to the usual temporal meaning. The typical tricky exam question.

    FRC
    It boils down to how subordination functions. Does "it hasn't been raining" depend on "The street is wet" or does "The street is wet" depend on "it hasn't been raining"? Which of the two is the dependent clause and which of the two is the subordinate clause? :wink:

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