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while – Misused Words

This article series aims to eliminate usage errors and help non-native speakers to write clearly and fluently. We suggest that you always do proper research and use style guides effectively. For anything you are not sure of, feel free to ask us.

Misused word
while

Alternatives
although, whereas

Explanation
Avoid using “while” to mean “although” or “whereas” if there is any chance of ambiguity. In the example below, “while” could mean either “although” or “at the same time that.”

Example
AvoidWhile Gloria lost money in the slot machine, Tom won it at roulette.”

UseAlthough Gloria lost money in the slot machine, Tom won it at roulette.”

Source
A Writer’s Reference by Diana Hacker [Sixth Edition]

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