# While\During

## We spoke ____ the coffee break.

• Total voters
190

#### Tdol

##### Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
What's the difference? ;-)

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
while = during the time that it happened
during = while it was going on

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
tdol said:
What's the difference? ;-)

RonBee is hilariously :twisted:

Me thinks, but have no(ught) proof, 'during' modifies things and 'while' modifies actions:

During our stay (thing)
While we were out (action)

During the coffee break (thing)
While we had our coffee (action)

Cas

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
My point (I think) was that while the words can be used to mean the same thing, one cannot be used in place of the other. One interesting thing is that in defining one word you almost have to use the other.

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
RonBee said:
My point (I think) was that while the words can be used to mean the same thing, one cannot be used in place of the other. One interesting thing is that in defining one word you almost have to use the other.

Yup. I know exactly what you mean. It's like trying to explain the Perfect without using Perfect verbs forms. Uh-huhn.

#### Tdol

##### Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Casiopea said:
tdol said:
What's the difference? ;-)

RonBee is hilariously :twisted:

Me thinks, but have no(ught) proof, 'during' modifies things and 'while' modifies actions:

During our stay (thing)
While we were out (action)

During the coffee break (thing)
While we had our coffee (action)

Cas

Your definition is right- during is a presposition and while is a conjunction. ;-)

#### ][MojaziF][

##### New member
Got it wright ! :up:

#### Epica

##### Member
During >>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<

#### gx90t

##### Junior Member
but what is EITHER???

Thanks

#### Eden Darien

##### Member
but what is EITHER???

Thanks

Do you mean the definition and how to use it?

Either can be adverb, determiner, pronoun or conjunction.
Normally we use either in negative sentences instead of too, or also.

Ex: I don't eat pork and my wife doesn't either.

Besides, people will use either with or whilst neither with nor.

Ex: Either she goes or I go.
Neither of them did it.

So either at the poll means, neither of them are correct for you...

Last edited:

#### najmas

##### Member
but what is EITHER???
I can simply say: during + noun or noun phrase
while + sentence or verbal clause
We enjoyed ourselves during the vacation
We enjoyed ourselves while we were on vacation

#### Huda-M

##### Senior Member
yup, i was right, its during

' we had important things to talk about but couldn't due to work. Taking this as a golden opurtunity, we spoke during the cofee break. '

Can this example explain it well?
Please point out if there is any mistakes, thanks.

#### Arabi

##### Member
we spoke during the coffee break ..
can we say :
we spoke while the coffee was burning ?

#### philo2009

##### Senior Member
While I have no objection to polls on matters on which even educated natives may disagree, and have myself voted in one or two, there is no possibility of any such disagreement regarding this simple, grammatical choice.

The only correct answer is 'during' - and there's and end to it!

#### Majeste

##### Member
I couldn't choose. I think we need a continuous tense because both show us a period of time.

#### mariah19

##### Member
Iam choosing during , is that right?:-?

#### philo2009

##### Senior Member
Iam choosing during , is that right?:-?

Yes, it is. And it's NOT a matter of opinion!!

Thanks alot

#### GreyMan

##### Member
During refers to a particular (fixed) time, while practically implies simultaneous activities. Right?