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    #1

    while/when I know she's only 16

    She claimed to be 19 while/when I know she's only 16.

    Do both while and when work for this sentence?

    Many thanks.

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    #2

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    Try
    She claims to be 19 while I know she's only 16.
    or
    She claimed to be 19 when I knew she was only 16.

    What do you think the difference in use between when and while is in the two sentences?

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    #3

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    Thank you for your help. I thought the 'claimed' was used with the omitted time adverbial 'just now' when I read the sentence in the Oxfor Dictionary:
    when: although She claimed to be 18, when I know she's only 16.
    I wondered if while could also be used. Your reply gives men a new insight. Thank you again.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    She claimed to be 19 while/when I know she's only 16.

    Do both while and when work for this sentence?

    Many thanks.
    The problem, as I see it, is that both "when" and "while" are commonly used in this sort of context but neither of them really fits. I definitely wouldn't say that the tense of the sentence makes any difference to the choice. They are both words used colloquially in the context without really being the appropriate word because time (to which both "when" and "while" relate) is really irrelevant. I would go with something like:

    She claimed to be 19 whereas I knew she was really 16.
    She claims to be 19 but I know she is really 16.

    I have thought of one situation where I think it is used and sounds much more natural "Don't try telling me you're 19 when I know damn well you're only 16!" Here, "when" means "because". I honestly can't say why it sounds better in that context than in the original statements.

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    #5

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    I should say that I gave two sentences that sound natural to me but native speakers will say things in different ways as shown by emsr2d2's post.

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    #6

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    "while [...] 3 used to contrast two things"
    "when [...] 6 although"

    These definitions from the OALD confirm that both are possible.

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    #7

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    I would like to add that "while" is a better fit than "when", in my opinion. "While" does have the definition "although" so, on reflection, could be used here.

    I was typing this at the same time as 5jj's post was going up. As jamiep said, there is a lot of variation in what different native speakers hear as being natural.

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    #8

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    I prefer "while," but "when" could be used as well.

    I would never use "whereas" unless I was writing a resolution for a legislative body, or some similar type of legal document.

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    #9

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I prefer "while," but "when" could be used as well.

    I would never use "whereas" unless I was writing a resolution for a legislative body, or some similar type of legal document.
    Perhaps another BrE vs AmE difference. I use "whereas" a lot.

    My mum roasts potatoes in goose fat whereas I roast them in butter.

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    #10

    Re: while/when I know she's only 16

    That would be a "while" or a "where" here.

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