While vs. Since
"While" indicates a simultaneous action or period; "since" refers to the start of a period or the reason for an action.
Difference Between While and Since
Conversely, "since" has a dual role. It can point to the beginning of a time frame or serve as a synonym for "because." When referencing time, "since" indicates an ongoing action or state from a specific point in the past up to the present. For instance, "It's been raining since morning," illustrates an action that started in the morning and continues presently.
When used in the context of reason or causality, "since" equates to "because." An example is, "She left since she was tired," suggesting the reason for her departure was fatigue. It's crucial to discern the intended meaning based on the sentence's context.
In essence, while both "while" and "since" have temporal associations, their applications diverge. "While" focuses on concurrent actions or periods, whereas "since" delves into either the start of a time period or the reason behind an action.
"While" and "since" both function as conjunctions in the English language, yet they carry distinct nuances. "While" primarily signifies a simultaneous event or action. For example, you might read a book while listening to music, denoting two actions happening concurrently.
While vs. Since Comparison Chart
Indicates simultaneous actions.
Indicates start of a time period or a reason.
Yes, concurrent actions.
Yes, beginning of a time frame.
Example of Temporal Use
"She studied while he cooked."
"It's been years since we met."
Yes, as a synonym for "because."
Example of Causality Use
"She left since she felt sick."
While vs. Since Definitions
Refers to a specific period.
She read while on the train.
Denotes after a time or event.
She hasn't seen him since last year.
Used as a contrast indicator.
While I like chocolate, she prefers vanilla.
Introduces a reason or basis.
I must stay, since I promised.
Indicates simultaneous actions.
He cooked while she cleaned.
Refers to continuously from a time or event.
She's lived here since 2010.
Relates to despite the fact that.
While I understand your point, I disagree.
Acts as a reason or cause.
He left since he was tired.
Pertains to a certain time when something happens.
I dropped my glass while trying to dance.
From then until now or between then and now
They left town and haven't been here since.
A period of time
stay for a while.
sang all the while. See Usage Note at awhile.
Before now; ago
a name long since forgotten.
The time, effort, or trouble taken in doing something
The project wasn't worth my while.
After some point in the past; at a subsequent time
My friend has since married and moved to California.
As long as; during the time that
It was lovely while it lasted.
They have been friends since childhood.
In spite of the fact that; although
While that guitar may look nice, it's not a very good instrument.
She's been skiing since childhood.
And on the contrary
The soles are leather, while the uppers are canvas.
During the period subsequent to the time when
He hasn't been home since he graduated.
To spend (time) idly or pleasantly
while the hours away.
Continuously from the time when
They have been friends ever since they were in grade school.
An uncertain duration of time, a period of time.
He lectured for quite a long while.
It’s a long while since anyone lived there, so it’s a ruin now.
Inasmuch as; because
Since you're not interested, I won't tell you about it.
(US) an uncertain long period of time
From a specified time in the past.
I met him last year, but haven't seen him since.
A short/long time since
(Philippines) an uncertain short moment
From: referring to a period of time ending in the present and defining it by the point in time at which it started, or the period in which its starting point occurred.
During the same time that.
He was sleeping while I was singing.
Driving while intoxicated is against the law.
Continuously during that period of time.
I have known her since last year.
This case, while interesting, is a bit frustrating.
While I would love to help, I am very busy at the moment.
At certain points during that period of time.
I'll wait while you've finished painting.
From the time that.
I have loved you since I first met you.
As long as.
While you're at school you may live at home.
Since you didn't call, we left without you.
(obsolete) When or that.
To pass (time) idly.
I whiled away the hours whilst waiting for him to arrive
From a definite past time until now; as, he went a month ago, and I have not seen him since.
We since become the slaves to one man's lust.
(transitive) To occupy or entertain (someone) in order to let time pass.
In the time past, counting backward from the present; before this or now; ago.
How many ages since has Virgil writ?
About two years since, it so fell out, that he was brought to a great lady's house.
To elapse, to pass.
When or that.
Do you remember since we lay all night in the windmill in St. George's field?
Alternative spelling or misspelling of wile.
From the time of; in or during the time subsequent to; subsequently to; after; - usually with a past event or time for the object.
The Lord hath blessed thee, since my coming.
I have a model by which he build a nobler poem than any extant since the ancients.
Space of time, or continued duration, esp. when short; a time; as, one while we thought him innocent.
This mighty queen may no while endure.
[Some guest that] hath outside his welcome while,And tells the jest without the smile.
I will go forth and breathe the air a while.
Seeing that; because; considering; - formerly followed by that.
Since that my penitence comes after all,Imploring pardon.
Since truth and constancy are vain,Since neither love, nor sense of pain,Nor force of reason, can persuade,Then let example be obeyed.
That which requires time; labor; pains.
Satan . . . cast him how he might quite her while.
And so on us at whiles it falls, to claimPowers that we dread.
Indicates time from a specific point.
It has rained since morning.
To cause to pass away pleasantly or without irksomeness or disgust; to spend or pass; - usually followed by away.
The lovely lady whiled the hours away.
During the time that; as long as; whilst; at the same time that; as, while I write, you sleep.
Use your memory; you will sensibly experience a gradual improvement, while you take care not to overload it.
Hence, under which circumstances; in which case; though; whereas.
I may be conveyed into your chamber;I'll lie under your bed while midnight.
a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition;
he was here for a little while
I need to rest for a piece
a spell of good weather
a patch of bad weather
While vs. Since Frequently Asked Questions
How does "since" signify reason?
"Since" can act as a synonym for "because" indicating causality.
Is "while" always about simultaneous actions?
Mostly, but it can also introduce contrast or specify a time when something occurs.
Can "while" and "since" be used interchangeably?
Generally no, as they denote different temporal or causal relationships.
How do I decide between "while" and "since"?
Focus on whether you're conveying simultaneity (while) or a starting point/reason (since).
Which word can introduce contrast?
"While" can introduce contrast between two statements.
Can "since" be used to denote a specific past time?
Yes, it indicates the beginning of a period continuing to the present.
Does "while" indicate a shorter time frame than "since"?
Not necessarily, "while" just denotes concurrent actions or periods.
In what context might "since" be confusing?
When its use as a time indicator and reason overlap, discernment is needed.
Can "since" be used for future actions?
Typically no, it's rooted in past-to-present time frames.
How can I remember their distinct uses?
Associate "while" with "at the same time" and "since" with "beginning from" or "because of."
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