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  1. beachboy's Avatar
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    #1

    when x while

    "While I was leaving home, the telephone rang"
    Is it right to replace the word "while" for the word "when" (When I was...)? What if I invert the clauses?

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: when x while

    Both work.

    While means at the same times as.
    When means the time that.

    The phone rang while I was leaving.
    The phone rang when I was leaving.


  3. Snowcake's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: when x while

    You can use both. Since 'while', to my mind, puts more emphasis to the length of the action, I'd prefer 'when'. 'Leaving home' is not an action that takes a long time, 'while' wouldn't be wrong here though.

    What if I invert the clauses?
    Do you mean:

    The telephone rang, while I was leaving home?

    OR

    I left home, while the telephone was ringing?



    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #4

    Re: when x while

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    "While I was leaving home, the telephone rang"
    Is it right to replace the word "while" for the word "when" (When I was...)? What if I invert the clauses?
    What about "just as"?

    Yes, you can invert them:
    The phone rang just as I was leaving.
    Just as I was leaving, the phone rang.

  4. beachboy's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: when x while

    The telephone rang while/when I was leaving home

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