Friday, 22 November 2013

Stay Awhile.

The dragon wishes to speak to you a while if you are able to stay awhile.

Is there really a difference between a while and awhile?
Yes, there is, and writers often use the wrong one.
The word awhile is an adverb, which means it modifies a verb. The definition of awhile is “for a while” or “for a time”. It would be redundant to say, “The dragon wishes you to stay for awhile” ,which reads as, “The dragon wishes you to stay for for a time”.
The key to watch for is the word for. The dragon either wants you to stay for a while (a period of time) or he wants you to stay awhile (for a time).
While we’re on the topic of what the dragon wants, let’s talk about the word while itself. While can be a noun, conjunction, adverb, verb, or a preposition.
The dragon chatted for a while (a period of time) about how he hoped it was worth your while (trouble) to listen.
The dragon drew a map, talking the while (at the same time; meanwhile).
The dragon didn’t accomplish much while I was away (during the time that; at the same time as).
The dragon wants to play, while I want to study (whereas-indicating a contrast).
The times while the dragon sleeps are the quietest times (during which).
The dragon can find all kinds of diversions to while away the day when he should be studying (pass time in a leisurely manner).
The dragon will be grouchy while dinner time (until).

I hope this lesson was worth your while.

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copyright, Diane Mae Robinson, 2013