for a while

"A frenzy of wrongful withdrawals began almost immediately after the terrorist attacks." Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that "people tried to profit from the confusion. They made a calculated decision to take money that was not theirs, 【and for a while】, they got away with it."Does the 'for a while' means these people (overdraw their accounts from ATM) will 'be punished' or 'can't get away with it' later? many thanks.ps,if the size wasn't correct I'm sorry , because now I was not allowed to change the size(maybe it's a web problem).
 
  • vta513

    Senior Member
    U.S.; English, Dutch
    Hi,

    "for a while" really refers to a LIMITED period of time, but it all depends on the context. "for a while" can mean a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, even months.
    At work, someone goes outside to smoke a cigarette and says "I'm going to step outside for a while". This person probably means that they will be back in a few minutes.
    If someone hates their job a lot, for example, and says "I need a break from this job, I'm going to go away for a while," this could mean that he or she is going to take a vacation for a few weeks.

    This paragraph is talking about people stealing money and how (for a certain period of time/for a short period of time/a small amount of time) they got away with it (which means that either nobody knew that they were stealing, or people knew but did not punish them). But since it says "they got away with it for a while", this suggests that people discovered that they were stealing (either after a few days, weeks, months, or even years).


    I hope this is clear.


    "A frenzy of wrongful withdrawals began almost immediately after the terrorist attacks." Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said that "people tried to profit from the confusion. They made a calculated decision to take money that was not theirs, 【and for a while】, they got away with it."Does the 'for a while' means these people (overdraw their accounts from ATM) will 'be punished' or 'can't get away with it' later? many thanks.ps,if the size wasn't correct I'm sorry , because now I was not allowed to change the size(maybe it's a web problem).
     

    vta513

    Senior Member
    U.S.; English, Dutch
    Yes it does, because it said "they got away with it for a while", a limited period of time, which means that they must have gotten caught at some point otherwise you would say "they got away with it" (if someone stole everything he or she wanted and then stopped when they were done).

    Good job :)
     
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