is a subordinating conjunction. Subordinating conjunctions are used to introduce subordinate
clauses (for more on subordinate clauses, follow this lesson
It is common to use while to talk about time, but today we are going to look at using while to introduce a contrasting clause (a clause in which the idea it contains is different or disagrees with the idea in the main clause of the sentence). This is the type of complex grammar that examiners award a band 7 and up for.
Look at the example below.
While I have been to France, I haven’t been to Paris.
highlights the contrast
/surprising information that the writer has visited France
. But, the writer has not visited the capital city of France
The use of the subordinating conjunction while means that we can join two sentences together making our writing more concise and sophisticated.
Notice how if the subordinate clause starts the sentence, it is separated from the main clause with a comma. If the sentence starts with a main clause, a comma is not necessary.
Activity 1 | Time or Contrast?
For each sentence below, decide if while is connected with time, or contrast.
Re-write the following pairs of sentences so that they are just one sentence containing a contrast clause with while. Use the form suggested after the 2 sentences, for example
, (subordinate clause + main clause). Make sure that you use the correct punctuation and remember capitals at the start of the sentences.
TRANSFORM THE SENTENCES
I like the taste of shellfish. I get a bad allergic reaction
+ main clause
While I like shellfish, I get a bad reaction to it.