What is the Difference between when and while

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Both when and while can be use to talk about action or situations, ‘When and While’ are two words that are often confused when it comes to their usage.

when while
Photo Credit: tx.english-ch

The word ‘when’ is often used in the sense of ‘once’. On the other hand, the word ‘while’ is used in the sense of ‘even as’. This is the main difference between the two words. It is always best practice to use ‘when’ with simple past and ‘while’ with the progressive. Take a look at the two sentences given below:

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Apply “once” in the place of “when”.

1. Please give me a call when you reach your home.

2. When I was a child, I travelled to USA.

“When” is also used in interrogative sentences sometimes. In such cases, when denotes “time”.

While is used to talk about two things that are happening at the same time. The length of time is not important. While is used with a subject and a verb (while + subject + verb). For example:

“While the pilot is trying to land the flight the passengers are excited.

“I tried to get my passport while I was doing my higher studies”

No child will go hungry in this State while I am the Governor. – The word while can function as an adverb or as a conjunction. While means as long as or during the time that.

“While” in other forms…..

1. At the time when:  While it was raining, we played cricket.

2. On the other hand:  He is rich, while his father is poor.

3. Although:  While I am not an expert, I will do my best.

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