Submitted by elizabeth • May 16, 2004
I’ve always used ‘a while’, but I’ve heard that ‘awhile’ is also correct. What is the difference between the two? Or are they interchangable?
May 17, 2004, 8:17am
According to my spot research, I notice that yes, both are perfectly correct as such. However, they are not strictly interchangeable.
"Awhile" is a single adverb. "For a while," that is identical in meaning, is a construct called an "adverbial phrase," or a phrase used as if it was a single adverb.
Be careful here. The phrase "in a while" is also an adverbial phrase, but it is not identical in meaning to "a while" or "for a while."
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Jun-Dai Bates-Kobash (unregistered)
May 17, 2004, 2:18pm
They are not the same. In fact, I don't know if you can ever interchange them. You cannot, for example change "let's go out for a while" with "let's go out for awhile." Nor can you change "this job will take a while" with "this job will take awhile". "Awhile" is interchangeable with "for a while".
The <i>CMS</i> addresses a similar questionhttp://ucp.uchicago.edu:2001/search97cgi/s97_cg...
June 10, 2004, 11:07pm
Directly from Dictionary.com:
"Awhile, an adverb, is never preceded by a preposition such as for, but the two-word form a while may be preceded by a preposition. In writing, each of the following is acceptable: stay awhile; stay for a while; stay a while (but not stay for awhile)."
July 15, 2006, 11:10pm
these information help a lot, thanks!
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