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Vocabulary - when or while Options
Ravindra
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 4:44:39 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2009
Posts: 692
Neurons: 48,927
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
I understand 'when' is used for a point of time and 'while' for duration of time.
My question is:
When I was young/twenty years old ......
OR
While I was young/twenty years old .....

Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)


Ravindra
thar
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 5:18:18 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 17,985
Neurons: 72,952
'When' is a point in time, but it can be very broad point.
When I was young, I liked to do crosswords.
'I was young' is still just a point in time, not a progressive event.

The point about 'while' is that it is during the progression of some other action.

While I was waiting for the bus, I did the crossword.
NKM
Posted: Monday, November 5, 2018 12:57:48 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,955
Neurons: 274,854
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
"When" is more common (and more natural) than "while" for this use.

However, word order and specific situations can make a difference.

"I learned to read while I was in kindergarten."

Ravindra
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 1:42:52 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2009
Posts: 692
Neurons: 48,927
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Thank you Thar and NKM for educating me.
May God bless you.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.
John Naisbitt


This statement is very very apposite with regard to the tonnes and tonnes of information, right from how a matchstick is made to how a spacecraft works, people here forward at the drop of a hat.

Ravindra
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