“For” / “During” / “While”

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Welcome to your “For” / “During” / “While” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• “For” and “During”
“During” and “While”
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“For” and “During”

We use “for + a period of time” to say how long something happens:

“We watched the film for twenty minutes.”

“She’ll be away for three weeks.”

“I’m going to the beach for the weekend.”

We use “during + noun” to say when something happens:

“I got so bored during the film.”

“She met her husband during her holiday.”

“I saw my family during Christmas.”

With time words (the morning / the afternoon / the winter), you can usually say “in” or “during”:

“It must have rained in the night.”
(or “during the night)

“I’ll mail you in the afternoon.”
(or “during the afternoon”)

You cannot use “during” to say how long something happens:

“It snowed for three weeks.”
(not “during three weeks”)

“During” and “While”

Compare the use of “during” and “while”:

“during + noun” “while + subject + verb”

“I fell asleep during the match.”

“She met some good friends during the weekend.”

“I felt ill during dinner.”

“I fell asleep while I was watching the match.”

“She met some good friends while she was away.”

“I felt ill while I was eating dinner.”

When you’re talking about the future, use the present after “while”:

“I hope to see you while I’m in Paris.”

“Are you going to text me while you’re working?”

Useful Links

“For” & “Since”, “When” & “How long?”
“Verb+ing” Clauses

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