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While A, B
Both actions A and B are occuring at the same time. Emphasis is placed on the second action (B) in the sentence.
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わたし うた      はい   
I sang while I took a bath.
22
               
I wait for her while I read a book.
7
すごい       ジャンプ  しながら      
Wow! Mr. Tanaka is jumping while he sings.
22
             使     ください  
Please don't use a cellphone while driving!
22
     いつも          テレビ      
My mom always watches TV while she is eating breakfast.
14
   テレビ               
Every night I watch TV while eating dinner.
6
  さん  テレビ               
Mr. Yamagawa was talking to his family while he watched TV.
6
おやつ                   
Is it cool if I read a book while I have a snack?

Getting the sentences
These user sentences have been verified by a native speaker.

7
べながらしゃべるじゃない
Don't talk with your mouth full!
9 years ago (1) (1)
5
ワインをみながら、んだ。
I drank wine while I read a book.
10 years ago (0) (0)
avatar Ses
3
きながらします
I talk to my friends while walking.
10 years ago (0) (0)
2
テレビをながら、しています。
I'm studying Japanese while I'm watching television.
10 years ago (0) (0)
2
テレビをながらべます
10 years ago (0) (0)
Loading user sentences...

Construction
(Elements in parentheses are optional.)
AVerb: Stem
ながら
Basic Examples:
べながら (talk while eating)

きながらきます (whistle while walking)

The verb in A is made by adding ながら to the stem form (ます-form).

Basic Examples
まちます まちながら
つくります つくりながら
ます しながら
Similar grammar
~ながら's meaning/usage is very similar to ~. While ながら requires the subject/actors in the first and second half of the sentence to be the same thing, does not have this restriction.
Related Expressions
Where this grammar is found


User notes
13

here are some set Phrases that use ながら with them

おそれながら・れながら=let me say humbly

はばかりながら・りながら=with all due respect

ざんねんながら・ながら=im afraid to say that

はずかしながら・かしながら=i am ashamed to say that

おそまきながら・まきながら=belatedly

さしながら=nevertheless

とはいながら=with these words
10 years ago
avatar くるるぎくん - Level 1
18

Generally speaking, in this construction the more 'important' action is the latter of the two, and the lesser one is the former: for example しながらをする talk on the phone while doing work - doing work is more important, talking on the phone is what's going on during the other action.
11 years ago
avatar mysticfive - Level 679
Advanced notes

The same subject must be perfoming both actions; there cannot be a different subject for A and B.

                  (correct)

I read a book while I was waiting on the girl.

                      (incorrect)

                   (fixed)

The boy read a book while I was waiting for the girl.

The grammar structure ~/あいだ means the same as ~ながら, but A and B can have different subjects.


This structure can be used with verbs A that span a long period of time.

       もらいながら           (correct)

My father got a scholarship to go to college.

   4                     (correct)

My mother works full time while raising four children.

Verbs that are continuous or which indicate actions/effects over a period of time can be used for A.

Basic Examples
く(to write)
む(to read)
つ(to wait)
使う(to use)
う(to sing)
う(to wash)

Verbs that are one-time/instantaneous cannot be used for A

Basic Examples
れる(to break,intransitive)
ぬ(to die)
く(to be open)
まる (to begin)

Discussion about this grammar
Years Studied: 7
Studying: JLPT 2
Level: 1, : 17
Under the "advanced notes " section, the translation reads:

The boy read a boy while I was waiting for the girl.

Perhaps this should be "the boy read a book"?

Also, looking at the "fixed" sentence for that example, I think it's a little vague how the incorrect

ちながらみました。

is changed into the correct

んだ。

In the correct sentence, aren't there still two actors, and ? Is it acceptable because only is marked as the topic of the sentence using は? (In any case, it might also be clearer to use either or in both sentences instead of changing it, which was probably an oversight.)
1
13 years ago (Edited 13 years ago.)
avatar
Level: 1, : 109
It's correct because ながら has been replaced by . ながら is used only for one subject (as the note states), while is used when you have two. You can say "I read while I waited" with ながら, as in the first example, but if you want to say "He read while I waited" you have to use .

On a side note, は became が because the part is a subordinate clause, and is not the main subject of the sentence, is.

I agree that it shouldn't have switched to , though. And shouldn't it be に?

マイケル, maybe the problem area (in this case, は and ) should be highlighted in red, and the parts that correct it (in this case, に) highlighted in green?
3
13 years ago (Edited 13 years ago.)
avatar
Site admin
Level: 62, : 5,642
The site doesn't know how to mark parts of the sentence red/green yet, aside from the model sentences. Is something I'll have to add in later. I will fix the noun, the typo, and add a bit more explanation about correction.
0
13 years ago
avatar
Site admin
Level: 62, : 5,642
PS: I talked to slicycheese, and she said that に isn't required (just a bit more formal is my guess).
0
13 years ago
Years Studied: 7
Studying: JLPT 2
Level: 1, : 17
Ah, somehow I managed to completely gloss over the in that sentence, thanks for pointing it out キャシー! I had guessed that the が made it a subordinate clause, but somehow managed to completely miss that the particle had changed...

Thanks for clearing things up, マイケル.
0
13 years ago
avatar
Level: 1, : 109
I had the feeling that に might be a bit on the optional side, at least in everyday speech, but since that's how I learned it I thought I'd mention it.
0
13 years ago
Native speaker Level: 1, : 18
I'd like to add some explanation about the difference of "" and "に".

1) "" indicates the breadth of a defined amount of time that has a beginning and an end. Therefore after "" a word expresses a continuous action or condition comes.
Ex.
している、そのは(ずっと)ていました。
The student slept (all the time) the principal was talking.
みのりにきました。
I went fishing with my friend every day through the spring break.
はテレビをていました。
My brother was watching TV during I was cooking dinner.

* "ずっと(all the time, through, over the period)" is often used with "",but never with "に".

2) On the one hand,"に" express "before the defined timeframe is over". Therefore an expression of momentariness comes after "に",which express the action/event take places at sometime during the period "" shows.  
Ex.
しているに、そのしました。
The student run away sometime during the principal was talking.
みのに、ねたいといます。
I am going to visit my friend at sometime during the spring break/before the spring break is over.

*In other word, you use an expression of continuation with "", while you use “に” with expression shows that the event/action happens and/or ends in a moment.

I think this is one of the difficult parts for English speaking students,whose language doesn't have such restriction on verbs/predicate you can use with a specific expression. I hope my explanation will help your understanding of "" and "に".
4
13 years ago
avatar
Site admin
Level: 62, : 5,642
Thanks a lot - I'll stick this up after I make an /に page.
0
13 years ago
Years Studied: 1
Studying: JLPT 4
Level: 1, : 24
Oh man. So technical and specific. At the advanced notes, it says that can be used the same as ながら。Does this mean that I can replace all ながらs with s, but not the other way around?
0
12 years ago
avatar
Site admin
Level: 62, : 5,642
Yes, that is how I understand it. I've gone ahead and added the page with the notes, and linked it to this page (link is above)
0
12 years ago
guest
Actually. When using ‾ながら the main action should be the latter. If you study Japanese grammar you notice that the message they convey appears on the last part of their sentence. For example, わたしのなまえnameです. Or しています。I'm strolling with my dog. inu to...
0
10 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: 4
Studying: JLPT N1
Level: 1, : 93
I'm probably just picking at little things here, but wouldn't the model sentence be "I read a book while waiting for the girl." as opposed to the other way around?
0
10 years ago
avatar
Level: 1, : 109
Unless the translation has been changed in the last seven hours, that's what it says - but the highlighting is in the wrong place, so maybe that's what you meant? It really should be " I was waiting for the girl." (Brackets marking highlighting).
0
10 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: 4
Studying: JLPT N1
Level: 1, : 93
Hmm, maybe I mixed it around. Anyway the example is
"みながらちます。" Right?
Wouldn't it be "I waited for the girl while reading a book" as opposed to "I read a book while waiting for the girl"?
It's pretty much the same meaning in English, but it should be pretty precise for a grammar lesson right?
0
10 years ago
avatar
Level: 1, : 109
No, the example is correct. The main act was waiting for the girl - that's what defines how long the other action lasts, or what triggered them happening at the same time, so that's the one that follows "while". English is flexible enough that you can get away with saying "I waited for the girl while reading a book," because we know what you mean, but technically that implies that the main action is reading the book.

It might not be as obvious there, because the actual meaning - that you're waiting for her while you read your book, and once you're done reading you're leaving whether she's there or not - doesn't seem right, so we automatically interpret it the other way.

Think about "I watch TV while I do my homework" versus "I do homework while I watch TV." In the first, you are in the habit of turning on the TV when you sit down to do homework, while in the second you are in the habit of picking up your homework when you sit down to watch TV, and you've probably got more attention on the TV in the second case than in the first. We feel like we can interpret it the other way if we need to because English is less strict on this, but technically that's the right way.

One reason you might be inclined to write it the other way around is that it puts more emphasis in the sentence on the waiting, which is clearly more emphasized in the Japanese; to put the emphasis on the waiting rather than the reading, you change the order of the sentence: "While I wait for the girl, I am reading a book." Semantically, this sentence is identical to the original sentence, but it emphasizes the waiting and makes the book reading less important.

The problem with translation is when you get into translating too closely, because English and Japanese don't always line up. When I read the example sentence, it actually came across my brain as "Reading a book, I wait for the girl," which of course feels stilted and formal, but probably follows the Japanese more closely.

I can definitely see where confusion came in - in the example sentences, three out of the four are in the order you suggested, with the fourth one the other way, but the usage notes match the example sentence. The trouble comes in that ながら is actually not a whole lot like "while", but it's the easiest equivalent to use. They have different rules for choosing which part goes where, which sometimes line up and sometimes don't. :P
1
10 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: 4
Studying: JLPT N1
Level: 1, : 93
The difference between the example sentences is what gave me the confusion, but I see what you mean. Thanks a ton.
0
10 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: 3
Studying: JLPT N3
Level: 1, : 274
Hello! This can also be used in the past tense, right? For example, would this be correct? べたながらしました。
0
9 years ago
guest
No, the tense is determined by verb at the end of the sentence. 「べながら、しました。」 I studied Japanese while eating breakfast.
3
9 years ago
avatar
Years Studied: 3
Studying: JLPT N3
Level: 1, : 274
Oh, ok. That makes sense. :) Thanks!
0
9 years ago
avatar
Years Studied:
Studying: Going wherever my class takes me for now!
Level: 1, : 89
"Both actions A and B are occuring at the same time. Emphasis is placed on the second action (A) in the sentence." I'm a bit confused here. Wouldn't the second action be B? Or am I interpreting this wrong?
1
7 years ago
avatar
Site admin
Level: 62, : 5,642
Yes - the English was correct, but the letter marker was not. Fixed!
1
7 years ago
avatar
Years Studied:
Studying: Going wherever my class takes me for now!
Level: 1, : 89

I just noticed that the first example sentence might be translated wrong; wouldn't that be "I waited for her while I read a book"? I already gave it a suki point without noticing so I can't correct it that way.

1
7 years ago



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