But as/when the plane takes off...


The plane is accelerating down the runway. Pete does what he can to try to calm himself. But as/when the plane takes off, he starts screaming.

Hi. Is there any difference between using "as" and "when" here? If so, please explain it/them to me. Thank you.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They’re different words, so yes, they have different meanings.

    when = at or just after the moment at which the plane takes off

    as = during the plane’s takeoff, while it is in the process of becoming airborne


    Senior Member
    British English
    Although the words have different meanings, both versions of your sentence mean the same. An aeroplane leaves the ground in a moment and it is at that moment the screaming starts. You have already removed the longer process of acceleration along the runway before rotation by "The plane is accelerating down the runway", so "takes off" can only refer to the brief moment of leaving the ground.