Usage of when, while and as


I have searched for usage of when and while but I am still confused.


While I was watching TV, she came in.

When I was watching TV, she came in.

As I was watching TV, she came in.


I know sometimes they are not interchangeable for the same meaning, but I still cannot find any meaning difference between the three sentences. So I feel like they mean the same in the example sentences. What do you native English speakers think?


Thank you so much again and have a good day.

asked Dec 08 '13 at 11:11 Hans Contributor

1 answer


They are very similar.  'As' and 'while' are a little closer in their use. I would use 'when' with a past tense verb but not with a past progressive verb.


While/As I was doing something, something else happened.

When I did something, something else happened.


These aren't hard and fast rules, but they will help you use these words clearly.

link comment answered Dec 08 '13 at 11:50 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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