Answered By: Writing Center
Last Updated: May 06, 2015     Views: 1

We can often use as, when or while to mean "during the time that", to talk about something that happens when something else takes place:

e.g.: As/When/While he was eating, the doorbell rang.

We use when to introduce a clause which talks about an event that takes place at the same time as some longer event, or about the circumstances in which the event in the main clause happens.

e.g.: They were playing in the garden when they heard a scream.

When they are fully grown these snakes can be over two metres long.

We also use when to mean "every time". 

e.g.: I still feel tired when I wake up in the morning.

We prefer when to talk about past periods of our lives.

e.g.: His mother called him Robbie when he was a baby.

We prefer when to emphasize that one event happens immediately after another, particularly if one causes the other.

e.g.: When the lights went out, I lit some candles.

We prefer as to say that when one thing changes, another thing changes at the same time.

e.g.: As the cheese matures, its flavor improves.

We prefer while or as to talk about two longer actions that go on at the same time, although while is more common than as in informal speech.

e.g.: I went shopping while she cleaned the house.

We use while or when to avoid ambiguity where as could mean because.

e.g.: While you were playing golf, I went to the cinema.



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