while/as he <says> <is saying>...

ritter66

Senior Member
Czech
Hello

There is a video on YouTube I very much like and I just want to describe one particular moment of the video - let´s say I want to describe what happens at 3:20-3:25. Is it possible to express it by all these ways I mentioned below? Would the second part of the sentence work differently depending on whether I use either AS or WHILE? If all these options are OK, what is the difference?

1)
He changes his facial expression while he is saying......

2)
He changes his facial expression while he says......

3)
He changes his facial expression as he is saying......

4)
He changes his facial expression as he says......


Thank you :)
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In the sense you are using while and as, there is no real difference between the two words. Both express the idea of two actions occurring at the same time.

    The form of the verb after while will depend on context - either could be correct but some contexts would be better with the simple form and others with the continuous form.

    The verb form before while is usually (but not always) the simple form.
     

    ritter66

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Thank you.

    My teacher suggested that these are best:

    1) He changes his facial expression while he is saying......

    2) He changes his facial expression as he says......

    In her opinion there may be a preference for present simple after AS and preference for present continuous after WHILE. According to you, native speakers, it does not work as she thinks it does, right?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    In her opinion there may be a preference for present simple after AS and preference for present continuous after WHILE.
    Please note that your teacher speaks very accurately and cautiously. She does not say, You must use while here and as there: She says there may be a preference. If that is her opinion, then I would listen to her: it is probably good guidance for you as her student.

    I did say "The form of the verb after while will depend on context" - As it happens "while" has two nuances (i) for a period during the time (that something happens) (ii) for the whole of the time that something happens.
     
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