screeched <when><while><as><as long as> his father was washing his face

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Sample sentence:

Since the jam was all over his face, his father forced him to take a shower. Even though the boy hated water, he was now clean after the shower. He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched <when><while><as><as long as> his father was washing his face.

Question:

I think all four options are grammatical. If so, could anyone please tell me how natural each of them is in my sentence?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "When", "while" and "as" sound equally likely and natural to me, JJXR. If you pointed a gun at me and told me to pick one, I'd choose "as".

    "As long as" sounds strange.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks owlman5.
    If you pointed a gun at me and told me to pick one, I'd choose "as".
    I appreciate your ability to share humor, good cheer and good will. :) However, I'm not in the habit of pointing a gun at people. At least not when discussing language. :D
    Since the jam was all over his face, his father forced him to take a shower. Even though the boy hated water, he was now clean after the shower. He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched <when><while><as><as long as> his father was washing washed his face.
    If I use the simple past "washed" instead of the past continuous "was washing", does what you said in post #2 hold:
    "When", "while" and "as" sound equally likely and natural to me, JJXR. If you pointed a gun at me and told me to pick one, I'd choose "as". "As long as" sounds strange.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Yes, JJXR. My thoughts about the choices remain the same even if you use the past simple rather than the progressive in that sentence.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Sample sentence:

    Since the jam was all over his face, his father forced him to take a shower. Even though the boy hated water, he was now clean after the shower. He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched <when><while><as><as long as> his father was washing his face.

    Question:

    I think all four options are grammatical. If so, could anyone please tell me how natural each of them is in my sentence?
    Yes, "as long as" doesn't really work there, because it equates to 'provided that' and thus alters the meaning of the sentence.

    I don't think there's much to pick and choose between the other three although I have a personal preference for "while". :)
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Since the jam was all over his face, his father forced him to take a shower. Even though the boy hated water, he was now clean after the shower. He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched <when><while><as><as long as> his father was washing his face.
    I've changed the word order of the quoted sentence:

    Since the jam was all over his face, his father forced him to take a shower. Even though the boy hated water, he was now clean after the shower. <When><while><as><as long as> his father was washing his face he had squirmed and wriggled and screeched.

    Do "as long as", "while" and "when" work and mean "for the duration of time that"? Does "as" not work because it means "because"?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I've changed the word order of the quoted sentence:

    Since the jam was all over his face, his father forced him to take a shower. Even though the boy hated water, he was now clean after the shower. <When><while><as><as long as> his father was washing his face he had squirmed and wriggled and screeched.

    Do "as long as", "while" and "when" work and mean "for the duration of time that"? Does "as" not work because it means "because"?
    I don't think "as long as" works any better there than it did in the original version of the sentence.

    As you say, "as" can mean because and I suspect that's the interpretation that would be put on it there - although that would in fact make sense.

    I still prefer "while" on the grounds that it's very typically used to describe two actions occurring simultaneously, which is exactly the situation you've got in that sentence. :)
     

    Shooting Stars

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, JJXR. My thoughts about the choices remain the same even if you use the past simple rather than the progressive in that sentence.
    Tense changes the meaning in the case of when. Am I right?

    1. He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched when his father was washing his face.
    It appears when means during the time.

    2. He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched when his father washed his face.
    When seems to mean after.
     
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