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I have a doubt on using while in certain contexts. For instance: He stood up whilst yet holding the book firmly.

The sentence is past tense, yet whilst here is followed by 'holding', which is present continuous. Is it acceptable, in case we wish to convey that both actions (standing up and holding the book) took place at the same time?

Thanks.

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Anonymous"whilst" is a contraction for "while still."
No, it isn't. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=whilst
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There is no problem with the tenses, but I don't know what you are trying to signify by "yet". This seems OK:

"He stood up while/whilst holding the book firmly."

At the same time as he stood up, he was holding the book firmly.

"whilst" is chiefly BrE. Even in BrE, it has slightly literary feel to it. In conversational English, "while" is more common.
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Thanks for your response. I thought words like 'yet' or 'still' would add more emphasis to the fact that he was still holding the book (while performing another action).

Also, I've seen 'all the while' used in the same sense as 'while' was used in the above sentence: He stood up all the while holding the book. I am assuming 'all the while' is an old-fashioned way of saying the same thing? Because I don't see it often...

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AnonymousThanks for your response. I thought words like 'yet' or 'still' would add more emphasis to the fact that he was still holding the book (while performing another action).
I see, yes, "yet" can be used in this kind of way, but it sounds literary or old-fashioned, and I wouldn't particularly recommend it.

"while still holding the book" is fine. It suggests that one might assume he had put the book down, and emphasises that, in fact, he was continuing to hold it.
Anonymous
Also, I've seen 'all the while' used in the same sense as 'while' was used in the above sentence: He stood up all the while holding the book. I am assuming 'all the while' is an old-fashioned way of saying the same thing? Because I don't see it often...

"all the while" is not old-fashioned, but it requires something to be going on for a reasonable length of time. The action of standing up does not last long enough to allow "all the while", but something like this is fine:

"He stood there for ten minutes, all the while holding the book."

It emphasises that he was holding the book for the whole time he was standing.
"whilst" is a contraction for "while still." So if you can substitute "while still." Example. "She wrote her boyfriend a letter whilst talking to her mother on the phone." or "I forgot how difficult it was to sleep whilst standing."

Hope this helps
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