I've never understood this, and even the head of the English department at my grammar (as in selective secondary, not as in sentence structure Emotion: stick out tongue) school didn't know how to differentiate between them. Are there any points in which one cannot use one or the other of these? I have always used either, though I tend to use the "st" versions, purely because I prefer the sound.

Thanks for your help.
1 2 3 4 5
Comments  (Page 3) 
I've always felt that there IS a difference between among and amongst.

Which is "better":

They discussed the issue amongst themselves or they discussed the issue among themselves?

Which is "better"

Among editors, most prefer or Amongst editors, most prefer ?

I'd have a hard time descriibing exactly why I would prefer one over the other but "among" seems more comfortable when used by an outsider talking about something within a group while amongst somehow feels more active - implying an exchange going on within that group rather than just a description of the group.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"
Hmm; a longstanding thread.

The Highways Agency (England) would disagree with you: I drove past a motorway gantry sign today reading 'Turn your mobile off whilst driving'

(mobile = cellphone, in case that's not obvious to our friends across the Pond)
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
While and whilst are certainly not interchangeable. Whilst is an alternative to whereas, whilst while sould be used as a time adverbial only.

Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, OUP, pp. 73-74

While vs whilst

There is no difference in meaning between these two words. In British English whilst is considered to be a more formal and literary word than while. The different spellings that exist today have their origins in changes to the words in Middle English and later. See http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-whi2.htm for an explanation.

Wikipedia has a different story to narrate... 

The difference, though subtle, can change the meaning of the sentence for some linguistic experts.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/While
Not wishing to be pedantic (laughing, of course I am, I'm a Brit, is there any other way to be?), but if you are going to join the revolution then you really ought to know that it should be: 'We are the keepers of the language, and WHILST I am not an English scholar, I am a consumer/producer in the English language economy. Empower ourselves now - WHILE we can!!!!

With regards,
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
The -st endings are British. The non -st endings are American. Canadian english uses a mix of the two.
I realise a British poster claimed it's not common in British speech, but it is the norm in British english writing. As we all know, we speak differently from how we write.
I would adopt the opposite usage for while/whilst that you suggest. My proof reader friend has told me to us while for temporal and to avoid "whilst", but if I must use it, it should mean "although".

E.G. "Whilst I was ill I mowed the lawn" has a temporal component to it but also a chunk of "eventhough I was ill I managed to mow the lawn".

"Whilst the sun was shining I mowed the lawn" is wrong, in the above interpretation, and should be "while".
**I want to use 'whilst in the midst of the comfort of your own home' Does this work?? It sounds good to me (ha) but I do not think it is the right usage??
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
No, it sounds old-fashioned and stilted. Did you read this thread?
Show more