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  • *Singing* Hi. James from EngVid. I'm going to take off my bag and my hat, I'm going to stay awhile. I've been

  • doing these videos for a while now, and I've got a question for you. I said, "I'm going

  • to stay awhile," -- "stay awhile", and then, "I've been doing them for a while." Do you

  • know the difference between "awhile" and "a while"? Probably not, because they sound the same, right?

  • This is one of those mistakes people make in English when they write, that you

  • really can't see when they speak. Today's lesson: "A while" and "awhile". Love it, don't

  • you? Anyway, welcome to the EngVid video. We have been doing this for a while. When

  • I said, "for a while", I said something distinct. 'Distinct' means special or unique. What it

  • was, was "a while". I said the article, then this word. "While" by itself means time; it

  • just means time, that's it. "A while", "a" usually comes before a noun, so it means "a

  • time", is what we're saying. This is why "a while", when written like this, means it's a noun.

  • Note the article; the article tells us it's a noun that follows.

  • So it talks about a length or period of time that can be specified. When I say specified,

  • you can give it 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day, but you don't. You're just saying, for instance,

  • "I slept for a while." I'm saying, I don't know, maybe 20 minutes, maybe an hour; it's

  • not important. But I could say, "I slept for 3 hours," and be very specific. We're using

  • the 'for' here to tell you 'for this amount of time', 'for' this noun. Because time is a

  • noun; it's a thing, an actual thing. I can say to you, as I said, "I slept for a while", or

  • "I slept for 3 hours", or I can also say "This will take a while." 'Take' this (a while). "This will

  • take a month." See how we can just slip in that specified period of time? "A while",

  • month; "a while", hours.

  • If this is so obvious and easy, why do we even have the other one? It just doesn't make

  • any sense. Notice that this is for a noun, so we can use it as a noun; an actual period

  • of time in a sentence. But if we want to actually modify a verb, use it in an adverb way to

  • demonstrate the passage of time, then we use another one, 'awhile'. 'Awhile' is an adverb,

  • funny enough. You just take the article, put it with the period of time, smash it together,

  • and suddenly it becomes an adverb. It's descriptive, and it means 'a period of time'. It actually

  • means the same thing, because it means 'for a time'. Same here; just to modify the verb,

  • just one step closer to the verb.

  • Here's an example for you: "My mother is staying awhile." 'Awhile' is actually modifying this

  • verb to tell us the period of time. It's not a noun here; it's modifying how she's staying.

  • When we do adverbs, it's how something is, how fast... it describes that verb. It's describing

  • the verb here; unlike saying it's a noun. How do we translate that? Let's look: "My

  • mother is staying awhile." If we break it down, remember what I told you? 'Awhile' is

  • the same as 'for a while'. We can say, "My mother is staying for a while." Wow. Then

  • we can go back the extra step and go, "My mother is staying for another month." 'For

  • another month' is describing the length of the stay. "For a while" is describing it,

  • but we're using this as a noun here, and here we're just modifying the verb. Simple enough.

  • 'Awhile' is 'a while' with 'for' built right in it.

  • Simple lesson, easy lesson, but one people make a mistake on time and time again. Many

  • Canadians make a mistake with this, because when we say it -- and remember, we speak more

  • than we read and write -- we just make the assumption that 'awhile' is the same. You

  • won't make that mistake. You know why you won't make that mistake? Because you now know

  • that they're the same thing, except 'awhile' has 'for' built right inside, right? Cool.

  • But in case you've got to do this lesson again, you should go for this very, very special

  • place. Special, special! You should go to . . . hold on; I'm not going to tell you.

  • Mr. E, my favorite little worm, making an appearance; I don't know... he's been late of late. He's going

  • to tell you to go to www.eng -- as in English -- vid -- as in video -- .com. Go to engvid.com to get this and other lessons:

  • 'all right', 'a lot'... other mistakes that people commonly make, that you are now going

  • to master and not make that mistake. Have a good one.

  • Learn English for free www.engvid.com

*Singing* Hi. James from EngVid. I'm going to take off my bag and my hat, I'm going to stay awhile. I've been

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 awhile noun slept staying period engvid

A WHILE or AWHILE?

  • 1839 269
    Vincent Chang posted on 2013/10/20
Video vocabulary