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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Jan 2014
    • Posts: 129
    #1

    When vs While

    I was taught in my primary school that simple tense should be used after the conjunction "when", whereas continuous tense be used after "while". However, I discover that more and more people use both tenses after "when", and wonder if the rule is becoming more loose or there is something wrong with my knowledge.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,912
    #2

    Re: When vs While

    It is not an absolute rule, and never has been. I think that what might have been a guideline was upgraded to a rule at your primary. While is more used with continuous forms than simple ones, though not exclusively, and when can be used with both.

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