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mientras / mientras que

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by ncbulldogboy, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. ncbulldogboy Junior Member

    Chino Hills, CA
    English United States
    Is there a rule for using "mientras" as opposed to "mientras que"? I often see them used interchangeably, but I cannot find any rationale. I know "mientras" can be followed by an infinitive (and apparently a conjugated verb) while "mientras que" can only be followed by the latter. Can anyone help me unravel this mystery? Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    As a general rule, "mientras" means 'while', it expresses simultaneousness. On the other hand, "mientras que" indicates contrast, it could be translated as 'by contrast'; it's a rather formal expression. Anyway, I've heard people saying "mientras que" with the same meaning of "mientras", though not very often. It might be typical of certain countries, I don't know.
     
  3. Zeli Senior Member

    UK English
    I agree with jmartins. I see "mientras que" as meaning "while, on the other hand"
     
  4. ncbulldogboy Junior Member

    Chino Hills, CA
    English United States
    You have both aided me immensely. Thank you for the clarification!
     
  5. meech New Member

    English (American) and Chinese (Mandarin)
    Hello, I know it's been a while since this thread was started, but I think there is an error in the original author's post: "mientras" cannot be used with an infinitive, only a conjugated verb. See thread titled "gerund or infinitive?" (I can't post the link because I have not yet made the 30-post requirement to post links.)
     
  6. Gram67 New Member

    English
    Hello,
    I thought you only used "mientras que" when the subject of the verb was different and usually with the subjunctive

    Voy a trabajar mientras que mi amigo lea el libro.

    I am going to work while/as long as/provided that my friend reads his book.

    I am not sure if you can use "mientras" with an infinitive I hope someone can explain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  7. franmadrid Senior Member

    MADRID
    spanish madrid
  8. Andy1972 Senior Member

    Argentina
    Argentine Spanish
    The meanings are ok but remember you sometimes may use the subjunctive after "mientras que"
     
  9. Gram67 New Member

    English
    Thanks for your informative post! Can you or anyone provide a little tutorial in English. The Royal academy explanation is quite a lot to translate and try to take in if you are still learning spanish basic to intermediate
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  10. meech New Member

    English (American) and Chinese (Mandarin)
    "Mientras" can function as an adverb of time or as a conjunction, both expressing simultaneity of two actions. When "mientras" is used as an adverb, it's tonic (meaning you stress it when reading), and it is separated with commas from the rest of the sentence. «Desarmaron los instrumentos y los secaron. Ronald, mientras, se acariciaba la mejilla con el reverso de los dedos» The adverb "mientras" is equivalent to the English "meanwhile," "in the meantime," etc. You can also say "mientras tanto," it means the same thing.

    When used as a conjunction, "mientras" is atonic (unstressed) and isn't separated by commas. This meaning of "mientras" is like the English "while." «Todo esto lo revive Andrés mientras mezcla colores y aceites» When it's used to introduce a subjunctive verb, it takes on a more conditional nuance, like the English "as long as [such and such happens]." «La polémica no se extinguirá mientras persista la palabra escrita»

    "Mientras que" is a little different because it implies a contrast between the two simultaneous actions. «Muchos deplorarán esta revolución, mientras que otros la celebrarán» You can also use just plain "mientras" in the same context (juxtapose two contrasting actions) but the RAE recommends that you use "mientras tanto" in those cases instead.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  11. Andy1972 Senior Member

    Argentina
    Argentine Spanish
    Sorry but ....What do you refer to with a tutorial?
     
  12. meech New Member

    English (American) and Chinese (Mandarin)
    Can you give an example of a sentence with subjunctive after "mientras que"? I don't think I understand.

    A tutorial is like a explanation, but it has a more thorough connotation. Sometimes tutorials can be interactive and/or give directions on how to do something.
     
  13. Andy1972 Senior Member

    Argentina
    Argentine Spanish
    I understand... But you want one related to "mientras y mientras que" or something else? Sorry it seems for dummies but I'm new here.
    I will be out for a week but promise work on it once I am back.
     
  14. Gram67 New Member

    English
    I should have said examples of uses with mientras and mientras que with different verb tenses. Not a full tutorial
     
  15. diaxlna

    diaxlna Senior Member

    London, UK
    Galician & Spanish - Spain
    Hi, I think it'd be something like :

    "mientras que él estudie, todo saldrá bien" --> "as long as he studies, (..)"

    you can also say --> "mientras estudie, todo saldrá bien"
     
  16. eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    Dutch-Belgian
    I posted this on facebook, with subjunctive. In fact with two subjunctives in the sentence. I hope it's correct...En caso de duda, después de "que", utilizo subjuntivo.


    "En España el estado da 3000€ a los que compren un coche con mas de cinco asientos, mientras que millones de personas no tengan ingresos."
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  17. donbeto

    donbeto Senior Member

    Vancouver (Canada)
    Eng(Canada)
    Por lo general, "mientras que" lleva el subjuntivo, por lo tanto concuerdo con el último caso.

    Sobre el primero, depende. Si la gente ya ha comprado los coches, usaría el indicativo. Sin embargo, si todavía no los compró, debería usar el subjuntivo.
     
  18. eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    Dutch-Belgian
    OK. Thx.
     
  19. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    This sounds strange, I would rather say it like this:

    En España el estado da 3000€ a los que compran/compren un coche con mas de cinco asientos, mientras (que) millones de personas no tienen ingresos.

    In this case I find both "mientras" and "mientras que" possible, with slightly different meanings, but only with indicative.
     
  20. eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    Dutch-Belgian
    Podrías tener razón. Tengo dos grammáticas que no dicen nada sobre esto. Encuentro muy poco en internet.
    Sólo esto:

    Por razón de 1.2, añadido a tu opinión, ahora creo más en "tienen" que en "tengan·". Parece que haya hecho un error.
    Haya, porque no soy enteramente seguro.
     
  21. ZSThomp Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest
    English - United States
    Por que no es "tengan ingresos" si "mientras" quiere decir "while"?

    Z
     
  22. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    Hay por lo menos 2 estructuras distintas con "mientras":

    Mientras tenga dinero, me lo gastaré. Se refiere a una condición que puede continuar en el futuro.

    Mientras unos tienen mucho dinero, otros no tienen nada. Aquí no se habla del futuro, solo del presente.
     
  23. ZSThomp Senior Member

    Pacific Northwest
    English - United States
    AH ok ya entendi. Estuve leyendolo mal antes.

    Z
     

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