While vs Whilst

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What’s the difference between them?

While

Meaning:

While is a conjunction that is used to indicate the time or reason for an action.

Examples:

1. I was running late, while my friend was already at the party.

2. While walking home, I noticed the beautiful sunset.

3. We were discussing the matter while the clock was ticking away.

Whilst

Meaning:

Whilst is a British English variant of the word 'while,' meaning 'during the time that.'

Examples:

1. Whilst I was eating my dinner, my dog was begging for food.

2. Whilst I was walking to the store, I noticed the leaves changing colors.

3. Whilst studying for my exams, I made sure to take regular breaks.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

While

1. During

2. Whilst

3. As

4. Simultaneously

5. All the while

1. Cease

2. Stop

3. End

4. Desist

5. No longer continue

Whilst

1. Although

2. During

3. At the same time

4. Simultaneously

5. Even as

1. Apart

2. Asunder

3. Separately

4. Dissimilarly

5. Disagreeably

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "While", "Whilst".

1.'While' is the preferred word in American English.

2. 'Whilst' is more commonly used in British English.

3. Use mnemonics to remember the difference: 'While' waves in the US, 'whilst' waves in the UK.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

'While' is a conjunctive adverb that is used to describe two actions that are occurring at the same time. For example, 'I ate dinner while I watched a movie'.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

'Whilst' is a synonym for 'while'. It is primarily used in British English, and is generally used in more formal contexts. For example, 'Whilst I ate dinner, I watched a movie'.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. 'Whilst' is pronounced /waɪlst/ and 'while' is pronounced /waɪl/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake people make when using these words is incorrectly using 'while' in British English and vice versa.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. _____ you were out, I received a call from your office.

2. In America, people say _____, but in the UK whilst might be more common.

3. He listened to music _____ reading a book.

4. Its quite common to hear _____ youre travelling in London.

5. I prefer to take a walk _____ the sun is setting.

6. _____ she was in the UK, she noticed a few differences in the way people spoke.

1. While or Whilst.

Explanation: No specific clue is provided, so both while and whilst are acceptable.

2. While.

Explanation: The sentence gives a clue about American English by mentioning In America. Therefore, the American variant while is the correct choice.

3. While or Whilst.

Explanation: No specific clue is provided, so both while and whilst are acceptable.

4. Whilst.Explanation: The clue here is travelling in London, which hints at British English. Therefore, whilst is the preferred choice.

5. While or Whilst.

Explanation: This sentence doesnt lean towards British or American English, so both while and whilst can be used.

6. Whilst.

Explanation: The mention of the UK indicates British English, making whilst the correct choice.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.