Subordinating clause by when and while

Adverb clause of time introduced by when describes a point of time in which action is performed. Whereas, clause beginning with while focuses on the same period of time for two actions. In short, the implied meaning of when is–at that time; on the other hand, the meaning of while is–during that time. Let’s learn in detail about subordinating clause by when and while..

Rules of formation

•When > point of time, at that time, close sequence between two actions.

•While > period of time, during that time, two actions at the same time.

•When + dependent clause + comma + main clause.

•While + dependent clause + comma + main clause.

•Main clause + when + dependent clause.

•Main clause + while + dependent clause.

•When for general time

•While for specific time.

•Same tense is used in both dependent and main clause.

Future auxiliary verbs aren’t used in the when clause. Instead, present auxiliary verbs are preferred for future sense.

Generally, while times clause is used for continuous tense, and hardly used for simple tense.

Useful examples of adverb clause of time -when and while

•It was the time of tension and insecurity when the world divided into two poles.(when ? At that time– Cold War)

•He used to visit national parks when he was in the Kenya.(occasion of Kenya visit)

•When we visited tribal regions, we worked for tribal cause.

•When is used to express actions in a sequence with minimum gap.

•When the bus arrived, the passengers had already left the bus stop.

•We had already covered the ground when it started raining.

•When they declared ceasefire, thousands of people  had been killed.

•For the future tense, simple present is used, and “Will” is not used in the when clause.

•I will assist you when I finish job.

•Temperature will come down when the carbon emissions decrease.

•The situation will become serious when the rain delays.

 When is used like conditional conjunction.

•Generally, when is preferred in the simple tense instead progressive.

•It is also used to express states in different period of time.

•Examples of while

While is used for specific period of time. In such sentences, both actions occur at the same time.

•Both nations were negotiating while people agitating for the settlement.(both actions are occurring at the same time)

•Children were enjoying outside while it was raining lightly.

•People are shouting against the firing while senior officials are appealing to calm down .

•His mother is preparing food while he getting ready for school.

All examples show fix duriation of time to express two actions.

While is preferred to use to express continuous tense. It is hardly used for simple tense. But, when works better for simple tense. Hope, this blog will help you to master subordinating clause by when and while..

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