English Grammar: During vs. While

What is the Difference Between During and While?


1. During

During is a preposition which is used before an activity to indicate that a parallel action is happening at the same time as that activity

  • What did you discuss during dinner?

During is followed by a noun, which often represents an activity (During + noun)

  • We had to call the doctor during the night.

Incorrect: She slept during watching the movie.

Correct: She slept during the movie.

2. While

While is a conjunction which is used to refer to a background period of time in which another activity happened

  • They all took notes while the professor gave the lecture.

While is followed by a clause (While + subject + verb…)

  • I met my wife while I was at university.

Incorrect: She ate while the movie.

Correct: She ate while she was watching the movie.

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English Grammar: During vs. While

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