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7757422 BBC Learning English

7757422 BBC Learning English

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07/17/2013

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BBC Learning English
Conjunctions & clausesPrefixes and suffixesPrepositions & prepositional phrases
 
Conjunctions & clauses
as, while, when, as long asWilliam Martinez
from
Puerto Rico
writes:How can I correctly use the following conjunctions concerning time expressions:
as,as long as
and
while
? Also, would you be kind enough to give me some examplesof use of these two expressions:
as a basis for
and
on the basis of 
?
as
or
while
We can use
as
or
while
to talk about
two longer actions
that are in progress atthe same time:
There was a lot to do. While I cleaned the car, my wife was preparing lunch.
 
She then did the ironing after lunch as I cleared away the dishes.
As a general rule, we tend to use
while
here rather than
as
because
as
has manydifferent meanings and uses. It could be confusing if 
as
meaning
while
could bemistaken for
as
meaning
because
:
 As I was doing my homework, my mum prepared my supper. (As = because)
 As I was doing my homework, my mum prepared my supper. (As = while)
 
as
or
when
We use
as
or
when
to talk about
two short events
that happen at the samemoment.
As
and
when
are often used with
 just
in this context. We cannot use
while
here:
The telephone rang
 just when / just as
I was about to leave. I decided not to answer it.
 However, if we want to say that when one thing changes another changes at thesame time, when one is the consequence of the other, we tend to use
as
:
 As the day wore on, it became hotter and hotter.
 
 As you get older, it becomes more and more difficult to make friends.
 
while
or
when
In more formal speech and writing, it is possible to leave out
subject + be
with
when
and
while
when main and subordinate clauses refer to the same subject. Wecannot use
as
in this way:
2
 
When making cranberry jam, remember to use as much sugar as fruit.
When you are making cranberry jam, be sure to use as much sugar as fruit.
 
While in France, he grew particularly fond of all varieties of cheese.
While he was in France, he grew particularly fond of all types of cheese.
 
as long as: expressing time
The
as ... as
construction is used when we are making comparisons and comparingideas of similar magnitude or duration
There was extra time, so the football match lasted as long as the concert.
 
He worked for as long as he wanted to on the project."Take as long as you like," they said. "There's no hurry!" 
 As long as I live, I shall smoke no more cigarettes.
 
as long as: expressing condition
 Note that
as long as
is also used in
conditional sentences
as an alternative to
provided
, meaning
if and only if 
.
So long as
is also possible in this context:
I don't mind. You can leave early, as long as you finish the work.
 
I don't mind. You can go home early, so long as you finish the work.
I don't mind. You can leave after lunch, provided you finish all the work.
 
on a ... basis
The noun
basis
suggests a particular method or system for organising or doingsomething. We have the expressions
on a/anhourly/daily/monthly/annual/temporary/permanent basis
:
These toilets are checked for cleanliness on an hourly basis
 
She thought she would have the job on a permanent basis, but it turned out to be temporary.
 
This place is known as 'the windy city' and typhoons are expected on aregular basis.
 
on the basis of / as a basis for
Here we have two further expressions with
basis
with a slightly different meaning.Used with the preposition
on
, method or system is suggested. Used with thepreposition
as
, ideas, facts or actions from which something can develop issuggested:
The contract was awarded on the basis of cost more than anything else.
 
These preliminary talks will be very useful as a basis for further negotiations.
 
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