During vs. While

Difference Between During and While

During and while are two of the many English words that are a problem of sorts for those who do not understand the difference between them. For people whose first language is not English, this problem creates a lot of embarrassing situations. These two words describe an activity that occurs while another is still taking place. Yet there is a need to know the correct usage of these words.

… … … I was in the hospital, the nurses treated me well. In this sentence, it is quite obvious that during my stay is the correct and use of ‘while’ would be incorrect. During implies a period of time, as in during winter and during the World Cup.  ‘While’ is followed by a clause and ‘while’ follows a noun. For example, I wrote while I was in the class. While is conjunction whereas during is a preposition. In the above example, you can see the use of while where it is followed by clause (or sentence).

It is clear then that while and during cannot substitute each other. Yet another word can be used after suitable changes in the structure of the sentence are made. For example, in the sentence I recovered while I was in the hospital, you can substitute for changing the sentence in the following way. I recovered during my stay in the hospital.


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