While he was eating, he went....

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Junwei Guo, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Junwei Guo

    Junwei Guo Senior Member

    Taiwan
    Chinese
    "While he was eating breakfast, he went out"
    -->What does the sentence mean?
    Thanks!
     
  2. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It suggests to me that he went out in the middle of eating breakfast, with half a sandwich in his mouth or something. :eek:

    Do you have some proper context for it, please? :)
     
  3. Dretagoto

    Dretagoto Senior Member

    Escocia
    English - UK
    It means that the person eating the breakfast left the building while he was eating it - without further context it suggests that he left while still eating, perhaps with food still in his mouth.


    Cross-posted.
     
  4. Junwei Guo

    Junwei Guo Senior Member

    Taiwan
    Chinese
    Thanks!
     
  5. velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    The explanations above don't convince me. More natural would be: "Still eating/chewing his breakfast, he went out".

    "While he was eating breakfast, he went out" suggests to me that the "he" who went out was not the same person who was eating breakfast.

    So what was the context, Junwei?
     
  6. Junwei Guo

    Junwei Guo Senior Member

    Taiwan
    Chinese
    I have no context for this.
    How about: "Eating his breakfast, he went out."?
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  7. Dretagoto

    Dretagoto Senior Member

    Escocia
    English - UK
    That works, but you may want to add the word "still" to avoid ambiguity. You could also use "left" in place of went out, to give you another option. E.g. "Still eating his breakfast, he left the house..."
     
  8. Junwei Guo

    Junwei Guo Senior Member

    Taiwan
    Chinese
    Thank you!
     
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    There's always context!
    Where did you see this? Or did you write it yourself?
     
  10. Junwei Guo

    Junwei Guo Senior Member

    Taiwan
    Chinese
    I wrote it myself.
    I wanted to express:"Still chewing his breakfast, he went out."
     

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