Awhile vs. A While, Reprise

I ran across an error in the newspaper today (yes, I’m an old-school journalist who likes inky fingers).

Bad Example:
It worked for awhile.

I did a Tip of the Day on this three years ago, but we’ll do a quick refresher today.

The word “awhile” is an adverb meaning “for a while.”  The word “for” is built in.

The word “while” is a noun that means “an unspecified period of time.” The article “a” before it is your big clue as to its nounhood.
You can substitute the noun “week” for the noun “while” and your sentence will still make sense, but it won’t if you substitute “week” for the adverb “awhile.”

Noun Example:  It worked for a while.  It worked for a week.

Adverb Example:  It worked for awhile.  It worked for week.

You can get away without ever using “awhile” if you always use “for a while.”

Shared Tip of the Day from Rhonda Bracey at CyberText Newsletter:

If you Ctrl+click on a cross-reference in Word [e.g., see Figure 1] to jump to the target location [Fig. 1], did you know that
you can go back to your previous location by pressing Alt+left arrow key? I always knew there had to be a way to jump back to where you were!

And if you’ve jumped to several cross-reference locations one after the other, pressing the Alt+left arrow key multiple times will take you back through the cross-references you clicked in reverse order.

BONUS: Pressing Alt+right  arrow key straight after you’ve pressed Alt+left arrow will take you back to the previous location!

I just love sharing such useful stuff with hundreds of fans out there in the Peanut Gallery.
If you would like to thank Rhonda personally for sharing this valuable tip, please visit her blog and comment:

Funny Irish Quote of the Day:

“Geographically, Ireland is a medium-sized rural island that is slowly but steadily being consumed by sheep.”
– Dave Barry, American humor columnist and author, b. 1947


One Response to “Awhile vs. A While, Reprise”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Thanks for the mention, Jeanne!

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