Added: Briana Albee - Date: 09.03.2022 16:24 - Views: 10920 - Clicks: 7006
In a Grammar Girl post, I talked about using while to mean althoughbut another point about "while" can confound people: What is the difference between "a while" and "awhile"? The article "a" before "while" is a sure that you're dealing with a noun. Notice in the following sentence that you could replace "a while" with another article-noun combination such as "a year": It's been a while since Squiggly tried marmite. As an Amazon Associate and a Bookshop. Notice in the following sentence that you could replace "awhile" with another adverb such as "quietly": Go play awhile.
Go play quietly. Finally, just to make it confusing, if you rephrase "Go play awhile" and replace the adverb with a prepositional phrase, you need the noun again because an adverb can't be the object of the preposition. Go play awhile. The adverb is modifying the verb. Go play for a while.
The article and noun are the object of the preposition. The Quick and Dirty Tip is that "awhile" and "a while" both describe a vague length of time, but you use the one-word version when you need an adverb and the two-word version when you need a noun. To tell the difference, you can test your sentence with other nouns and adverbs. If you can replace "a while" with another article and noun such as "an hour" or "a year," you know you want the two-word version. If you can replace "awhile" with another adverb such as "quietly," "longer," or "briefly," you know you want the one-word version.
Most sources I checked Chicago, Garner, AP Stylebook recommend the guidelines I give in this article, but I found one dissenter: an American Heritage Dictionary usage note says that the noun phrase "a while" can be used adverbially, so that both "Go play awhile" and "Go play a while" are correct.
Also, Garner and the Merriam-Webster online dictionary note that the use of "awhile" as the object of a preposition "Go play for awhile" is increasing. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better. Jump to. By Mignon Fogarty Grammar Girl.
December 15, Notice in the following sentence that you could replace "a while" with another article-noun combination such as "a year":. About the Author.
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