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Whilst vs. While—Which Is Correct?

Whilst and while are two words with identical meanings—usually. But you can’t always use whilst instead of while.

Typically, Brits use whilst and Americans use while. That’s the main difference. When used as a conjunction or an adverb, while and whilst are interchangeable:

There wasn’t much Stanley could do while he waited.

There wasn’t much Stanley could do whilst he waited.

While Danny was sleeping in, his little brother swiped his cell phone.

Whilst Danny was sleeping in, his little brother swiped his cell phone.

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However, while can also be used as a noun and a verb, and whilst can’t:

We chatted for a whilst .
We chatted for a while .
We used to whilst away the long summer days in the pool.
We used to while away the long summer days in the pool.

British and American cartoon characters point at text that reads "whilst" and "while" respectively.


I took their fly-tying and rod-building classes more than 30 years ago, and I’ve whiled away many an otherwise dreary winter hour cranking out thousands of flies and adding new fly rods and spinning rods to my ever-burgeoning collection.
Mane will be joined by Divock Origi in attack whilst Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum will play in midfield for the Reds.
With some important data still to come in, the possibility of GDP either inching forward or backwards remains evenly balanced, while there is little chance the RBA of moving at all.

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