while/whereas

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  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Some countries are rich, whereas some are poor.


    Does the above sample sound right?
    Is whereas a coordinate or subordinate conjunction? Thanks.
    The sentence is fine (if a little old-fashioned because "whereas" isn't often used anymore). I will say, though, that the most common word-linking in such a sentence would not use "some" but "others" ie:

    "Some countries are rich, whereas others are poor".

    As for the grammatical terminology, someone else will have to answer that!:)
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Some countries are rich, whereas some are poor.

    Does the above sample sound right?
    Is whereas a coordinate or subordinate conjunction? Thanks.
    "Whereas" is a subordinating conjunction meaning, in this case, "(but) on the other hand". "While" can be used for "whereas" sometimes, but in this case, "while" would more likely mean "during the time that".

    Edit: I would use "others" rather than "some" after "whereas" in this sentence to avoid having it sound like "Some countries are rich, though/while poor."
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, Forero, for your clear and beneficial reply.
    I agree with that whereas is a subordinate conjunction. Therefore, is it better to delete the comma in the middle of the sample?
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Thanks, Forero, for your clear and beneficial reply.
    I agree with that whereas is a subordinate conjunction. Therefore, is it better to delete the comma in the middle of the sample?
    Interesting question.

    The clause beginning with "whereas" acts as an adverb in the main clause, so it is subordinate. But it does not alter or restrict the meaning of the main clause; it puts the main clause in perspective. The comma is appropriate because the subordinate clause modifies the main clause nonrestrictively.
     
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