General Writing and Grammar Help/"while"

Advertisement


Question
Is it acceptable to say,

All the while instead of meanwhile?

All the while, she sat frozen in shock.

Answer
Hi Patty!

Sorry for the wait!

Well, it's "acceptable", but it's not quite the same.

Meanwhile means during a certain time, or at a point in time between two other events, or sometimes simtultaneously.

Also, often when we use meanwhile, it means one event is happening somewhere else, not at the same place as the other event.  For example:

"The police searched the entire area for clues about the crime.  Meanwhile, the criminal was making his escape out of the country."

All the while, on the other hand, means the entire time something is happening.  It is also often used when two actions or events happen in the same location.

"He became depressed, not knowing where the ring was, when all the while it was right under his nose."

I think all the while is more appropriate for the sentence you constructed, because I imagine what caused the shock is probably something that was happening right in front of the character.

Hope that helps!  Let me know if you have any more questions!

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Brian

Expertise

Anything to do with word usage and/or grammar, plus the fundamentals on almost any type of writing (especially creative writing, such as poetry, short stories, movie/dramatic scripts, etc.)

Experience

Majored in English literature in college; have published short stories and poems, currently teaching English as a second language to foreigners

Education/Credentials
As mentioned above, a bachelor's in English Literature and also a CELTA certification which enables me to teach English as a second language to foreigners.

Awards and Honors
Editor's Choice for a national poetry contest. 2nd prize for a short story in a city-wide short story contest.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.