201 – When vs While – Confusing Vocabulary Lesson

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I found this while I was walking to the office.

I found this while I was walking to the office.

When & while are both used to talk about time, but they are not used the same way. For today’s English lesson, let’s have a look at the difference between when and while. This comes up on the TOEIC exam sometimes, and even if you are not studying for TOEIC, I think it’s good to know.

Here are the example sentences:
Listen to the podcast or the check the transcript for the details

When or while:

  • When Jack gets to the office, we will begin the meeting.
  • While I was cooking dinner, the smoke alarm went off.

Using while:

  • While I was working on the report, Jack was fixing the printer.
  • Jim is always listening to the radio while he is driving.
  • While I was sleeping, my neighbor was playing loud music.

Using when:

  • When I got home I took off my suit and relaxed.
  • I got nervous when the boss called me into his office.
  • When I woke up I noticed it was raining.
  • When I was a kid, I was very curious about electronic equipment.
  • Jack played basketball when he was in high school.
  • When my parents got married they lived in the suburbs.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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