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  • During, For, and While Problem words for English Language Learners

    There are some words that are difficult to use and easily confused by English language learners. I know from learning Spanish that time expression words can be especially difficult. To add further complication, Spanish and Portuguese have a word ‘durante’ that sounds similar to ‘during’ but isn’t used in exactly the same contexts. If you find yourself using “during” a lot you may want to ask yourself if you are using it correctly.

    Look at this sentence:

    During many years she worked at the factory.  Correction: For many years, she worked at the factory.

    During she was speaking I got a phone call. Correction: While she was speaking I got a phone call.

    During the break I ate lunch and had a coffee. YES!

    Do you know the difference between the above sentences? Watch the video and do the exercises to test your knowledge of during, while, and for.

    Write your answers in comments and we will respond.

    1. Angie has been waiting ______ me at her house and I’m stuck in traffic.

    2. I went running _______ he was making dinner.

    3. We lived in Argentina ________ two years.

    4. My sister came to stay with us _____ 10 days _______her winter break.

    5. Janet called me ________ I was on the other line.

    6. ________my holidays I like to hike and camp.

     

    • Jefferson

      1- For
      2 – While
      3 – For
      4 – For – During
      5 – While
      6 – During

      • LOIEnglish

        Nice work!

    • Pedro Messias Lopes

      1. for
      2. while
      3. for
      4. for…during
      5. while
      6. during

      • LOIEnglish

        Good!

    • Guto-Carlos Augusto Ferreira B

      1. For

      2. During

      3. For

      4. For – While

      5. While

      6. During

      • LOIEnglish

        You are still confusing ‘during’ and ‘while’

        Number 2: I went running while he was making dinner. -You have 2 actions so you need ‘while.’ Also, while is followed by a SUBJECT + VERB whereas ‘during’ is followed by a NOUN PHRASE.

        Number 4: My sister came to stay with us for 10 days DURING her winter break.

        HER WINTER BREAK-this is a NOUN PHRASE; there isn’t a verb involved.

        I hope this helps!

    • JG

      1 – for
      2 – while
      3 – for
      4 – for / during
      5 – while
      6 – during

      • LOIEnglish

        Good work!

    • cleriston

      1. for -> initially the best
      2. while
      3. for
      4. for, during (not sure about during)
      5. while
      6. During

      • LOIEnglish

        Excellent! Number 4 is correct. You should use ‘during’ for the last gap because it is followed by a noun.

    • Rafa

      1. Angie has been waiting for me at her house and I’m stuck in traffic.

      2. I went running while he was making dinner.

      3. We lived in Argentina for two years.

      4. My sister came to stay with us for 10 days during her winter break.

      5. Janet called me while I was on the other line.

      6. during my holidays I like to hike and camp.

      • LOIEnglish

        Nicely done!

    • Patty Mares

      Angie has been waiting for me at her house and I’m stuck in traffic.
      I went running while he was making dinner.
      We lived in Argentina for two years.
      My sister came to stay with us for 10 days during her winter break.
      Janet called me while I was on the other line.
      During my holidays I like to hike and camp.

      • LOIEnglish

        Excellent Patty! I think you have it.

    • Lenka

      1. Angie has been waiting for me at her house and I’m stuck in traffic.

      2. I went running while he was making dinner.

      3. We lived in Argentina for two years.

      4. My sister came to stay with us for 10 days during her winter break.

      5. Janet called me while I was on the other line.

      6. During my holidays I like to hike and camp.

      • LOIEnglish

        Good Lenka!

    • LOIEnglish

      Good !