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'During', 'Whilst' and 'While' for German Speakers.

A common mistake that many German speakers make is correctly using the words "during", "whilst" and "while", and might create a sentence such as;

The correct sentence should be "Whilst I was writing the Email, I made a mistake". Let's look at why;


Remember, the German word während translates to both "during", "whilst" and "while".

  • During is always followed by a noun, or noun phrase, ie. "during the summer", "during the war", "during the last quarter".

  • Whilst/while (they mean the same thing) are always followed by a full sentence, often in a continuous tense; "whilst I was working,...", "while I'm waiting for you,...", or "whilst they were working on the final draft of the script,..."


Excercise: fill in the gaps with "during", "whilst" and "while".

  1. ___________ the meeting last week we discussed staff motivation.

  2. ___________ I was sat in the meeting, I was so bored I decided to quit my job.

  3. ___________ my commute to work I listen to the radio.

  4. I always listen to a podcast ___________ I'm travelling to work.

  5. The decision to move forwards with the project was made ___________ the first 5 minutes of the meeting.

  6. ___________ you are there, could you tell him I'll email him later.

  7. The whole room was silent ___________ the presentation.

  8. I did feel relaxed after my holiday, but not anymore - it was fun ___________ it lasted.


Answers:

  1. During the meeting last week we discussed staff motivation.

  2. Whilst I was sat in the meeting, I was so bored I decided to quit my job.

  3. During my commute to work I listen to the radio.

  4. I always listen to a podcast while I'm travelling to work.

  5. The decision to move forwards with the project was made during the first 5 minutes of the meeting.

  6. While you are there, could you tell him I'll email him later.

  7. The whole room was silent during the presentation.

  8. I did feel relaxed after my holiday, but not anymore - it was fun while it lasted.

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