In fact, it is very common. For example: while the sun was out today, it felt like five degrees. While music is my passion, I also enjoy taking classes in instruments such as the guitar and bass. While I was waiting for my turn, I went to the counter and bought a coffee.
While "while" can be used as a conjunction, preposition, noun, or verb, "whilst" is only used as a conjunction or adverb. Both terms signify while or at the same time when used as a conjunction or an adverb. They can also signify in which case (in the context of comparison). For example, you could say "a doctor whilst learning medicine became sick himself" or "a lawyer whilst practicing law made some mistakes".
As far as I know, there are no cases where "whilst" and "while" have different meanings. But if there were, I believe that "whilst" would always be correct.
While in the beginning of a phrase It should be placed at the conclusion of the clause that it introduces. The comma should be placed between the two items that are being contrasted or occuring at the same time. My sister enjoys key lime pie, but I favor chocolate cake. While the price of milk has remained constant, the price of eggs has risen.
A while is a noun phrase made up of two words—the article a and the noun while. If we suppose that there's no need to analyze what the article here means, we can focus on the noun: while is an unspecified amount of time. So the noun phrase "a while" means "a period of time."
When used as a pronoun, however, it has a fixed meaning: "he," "she," or "it." Therefore, "a while" when used as a pronoun means "he" or "she." This usage of while as a pronoun was popular in the 17th century.
In modern English, while is often used as an auxiliary verb. It agrees in person and number with its subject: I eat while my friend listens to music. The word while here functions as a conjunction, so we can also say I eat and my friend listens to music.
Finally, while is also used as a question word.
While or as can be used to refer to two lengthy events or activities that are taking place at the same time. We have the option of using either simple or continuous verb forms: We spent many hours in my living room conversing while he performed music and described his thoughts. Ri Qian is number six. The children were playing while their parents waited for the results of the election.
As a modifier, while can be used before a noun or noun phrase to indicate that something will take place during this time period. He went to the store while I cleaned up after dinner. She works late most nights while her husband takes care of the housework.
As a conjunction, while can be used to join two sentences that describe different events that happen at the same time. She danced until midnight while I watched television. We drank tea while the sun rose over the mountain.
As a preposition, while can be used to show that someone or something is doing one thing while another thing is happening or being done. He studied hard while she sang along with music videos on her phone.
While can also be used as a sentence fragment. It is important to note that this usage differs from the other three in that it does not make complete sentences. Thus, while has the potential to be confusing because of its multiple uses in language.
When you mean "whereas" or "although," use a comma before or in the midst of a phrase. I favor chocolate cake, whereas my sister prefers key lime pie. My favorite cake is chocolate, whereas my sister enjoys key lime pie. The cost of eggs is growing, whereas the cost of milk has remained constant.
When you use while or while-not as a conjunction, follow it with a verb in the present tense: While I was sitting on the couch, he walked into the room. (While means during the time that.) After eating a meal at a restaurant, you should count your calories while keeping track of what you eat on a calorie-counting website like mine. (While means without doing something else at the same time.)
Use while to say that one action will be done while another action is being done: I'll call you while I'm on the road. (Note: You can also use this word pair to express intent.) She wrote letters while her son was away at school.
Use while not to explain why two actions don't happen at the same time: I'd love to go to the museum while you study, but I have work to do first. (Note: You can also use this word pair to express reason.) They studied abroad while they were students at Harvard University.
On this page, you will find 50 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic phrases, and related terms for while, such as: while, although, albeit, whereas, even-though, during the time that Other words for away include dawdle, strain, fritter away, and while. They are all single word alternatives to while.