When you say "for a while", it seems to mean "a short period", bu can the length of the period be defined?
In another case like "It's been a while since I saw him last", "a while" can be a long time, which is quite the opposite of the above case.
How do you tell the two?
35) Matthew Henson was born into a poor African-American family in Maryland in 1866. After his father died, he went to Washington, D.C. at the age of eleven. After working in a cafe for a while, he became a sailor. In 1887, Matthew was hired to be a servant to Robert Peary. When Peary planned a trip to Greenland, Matthew volunteered to go along. Matthew was able to communicate with the Inuit, the native people o
It just means an indefinite period of time. Maybe three weeks. Maybe four years. In the context of a lifetime, four years is only "a while."
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.