#EngClass: For, during, while, when

Today we are going to discuss Prepositions & Conjunctions of Time – for / during / while / when. Who’s up?

The word “For” shows how long something happened. It is used to refer to a period of time. For example: She’s in Vegas for a few days.

Both “during” and “while” refer to a period of time in which something happens. For example: “My phone rang while I was in a meeting.” and “My phone rang during the meeting.”

The word “During” is used with a noun or noun phrase. But the word “While” is used with a subject and verb. Seperti di kalimat “My phone rang while i was swimming” setelah kata while, ada “I” sebagai subject dan “Swimming” sebagai verb. Sementara di kalimat seperti “My phone rang during the exam” setelah kata during, ada “the exam” sebagai noun.

“When” and “While” can both be used when two things happen at the same time.

When two continuous actions happen at the same time, we usually use while. For example: “While you were studying I went out shopping.” In the sentence, studying and shopping are actions. So we use while.

When two short events happen at the same time, we use when. For example: When I saw you I didn’t recognize you. “I saw you” and “I didn’t recognize you” are individual events.

When one continuous background situation occurs and one shorter event occurs at the same time, when and while can both be used. For example, “When I was in New York i saw Taylor Swift” – “While I was in New York i saw Taylor Swift.” dua-duanya benar. “I was in New York” is a continuous background situation, and “i saw Taylor Swift” is an individual (short) event.

The position of while and when clauses is interchangeable with usually little difference in meaning. For example, “Don’t forget to turn off the lights when you go out.” and “When you go out don’t forget to turn off the lights.”

Admin will give you a little exercises now. Ready for it? :)

  1. _____ the night, the wind blew the front door open. – a) During b) While

  2. It began to snow _____ I was walking home. – a) for b) while

  3. Susan has been studying English _____ five years. – a) for b) when

  4. The children have been playing video games _____ hours. – a) for b) during

  5. _____ the hike up the mountain, we saw a lot of deer. – a) During b) While

  6. I was shocked _____ I saw my picture in the newspaper. – a) during b) when

  7. _____ I got to work, I noticed my computer was unplugged. – a) For b) When

  8. A car pulled out in front of me _____ I was riding my bicycle. – a) during b) while

  9. _____ the last guests finally left the party, it was early morning. – a) For b) When

  10. We visited many relatives _____ our vacation. – a) during b) when


  1. A) During

  2. B) while

  3. A) for

  4. A) for

  5. A) During

  6. B) when

  7. B) When

  8. B) while

  9. B) When

  10. A) during

Compiled and written by @waitatiri at @EnglishTips4U at July 2, 2012

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