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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    He fell off the ladder while he was changing a light bulb

    This is a practice question of a grammar book, and I think either "when" or "while" suits it. Does it have to be only "while" here? I think "while" is usually for two simultaneous actions, and "when" is for a background action, but I can't tell the difference exactly.

    gz194
    ex)He fell off the ladder while(when?) he was changing a light bulb.

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    #2

    Re: He fell off the ladder while he was changing a light bulb

    Do you have to choose either 'when' or 'while?' Neither is wrong, necessarily, nor is either right. Both 'when' and 'while' are conjunctions and can combine the two sentences. 'While' does, as you already have indicated, express a simultaneous action, and 'when' indicates a time when something occurred, so there is a shade of difference between the two. I would, though, say that either could serve the purpose equally well. It is just up to you as to how you want the sentence to flow.
    Last edited by William Jones; 23-May-2012 at 08:03. Reason: Apparently I cannot type; fixed that.

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