Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Awhile and While

english wordsAwhile vs. While

The difference between the words ‘awhile’ and ‘while’ may not be apparent to a person who is not a keen reader or writer. This is unless, the reader or writer understands, and has a good command of the basic English language, its grammar, and the application of its words.

Most people know that a noun is basically used as a name, but ‘while’ is classified as an adverb. Nevertheless, both of these words refer to time; the difference is at what juncture each of them is applied.

‘Awhile’ refers to a time frame, or time spent either doing something, or doing nothing but anticipating an action. For example: John rested for ‘awhile’ (for some time) before proceeding with his journey. In this example, John spent some time resting (perhaps to regain his strength), before proceeding with his journey.

In general, ‘awhile’ basically refers to a short period of time.

‘While’ refers to a period or space of time, during a time, or at the same time.

‘While’ can refer to two ‘sides’ of the same time. For instance, when a certain action was underway, another action, same or different from the first, was also taking place, either at the same place or at a different location. For example: While US president Barrack Obama is busy strategizing on how to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Al Qaeda is busy recruiting new fighters in Yemen and Somalia. In this example, two actions that are somehow related, are occurring at the same time or period, and are taking place at different locations.

‘While’ can also refer to a time that is specific to an action, without any relation to another person/group, or other action. The students ‘whiled’ around the school compound awaiting their next examination paper. In this context, ‘while’ is used to imply that the students used or passed their free time within the school compound, awaiting their next examination paper. The students could have used or passed their free time either chatting, having snacks or just relaxing, especially after writing the first examination paper.

‘While’ can also refer to that time spent doing something secondary, waiting to start doing the main (primary) duty. For example, John decided to clean the car while waiting for his father to arrive. In this example, cleaning the car was not the main duty at the moment (though a clean car is a powerful statement), the main duty was for John’s father to arrive, and they set off for a mission (maybe a father and son chat while driving around). Therefore, John used the waiting time to clean the car.

In general,

1. Awhile refers to a time frame, or time spent either doing something, or doing nothing but anticipating an action, whereas, while refers to a period or space of time, during a time or at the same time.

2. While can also refer to a time spent doing something secondary.


Read More ESL Articles

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Custom Search


Help us improve. Rate this post! 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading...

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.


See more about : , , ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder