Community Web Version Now Available
Patrycja
while vs awhile What's the difference between 'a while' and 'awhile' ?
Jan 7, 2016 5:29 PM
5
0
Answers · 5
Some people use 'awhile' as an adverb, meaning 'for a period of time', as in 'Wait awhile'. Others, myself included, say 'Wait a while', in the same way as you'd say 'Wait a moment' or 'Wait a minute'. It is not necessary to use the one-word form here. It's fine to say 'Wait a while'. 'A while', as separate words, is the article 'a' followed by the noun 'while'. For example: 'I stayed there for a while'. Although some people do say 'I stayed there for awhile', this is as incorrect as saying 'I stayed there for atime' or 'I stayed there for aminute'. You need to follow 'for' with a noun, not an adverb. It is not accurate to say that they are interchangeable. Confused? You don't have to be. Here's my advice, for what it's worth: Never say 'awhile'. It is a completely unnecessary word. Always use 'a while' and you will always be correct.
January 7, 2016
The two-word expression a while is a noun phrase, consisting of the article a and the noun while, defined as “a period or interval of time.” The one-word awhile is an adverb that means “for a short time or period.” Although these definitions are similar, and although the terms can sometimes be used interchangeably.
January 7, 2016
Patrycja
Language Skills
English, German, Polish
Learning Language
English, German