Awhile” is an adverb that means to do something for some amount of time. The job of an adverb is to add meaning to verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. For example, “I will work awhile and then take a break.” “A while,” on the other hand, is a noun meaning “a time.” The “a” is an article preceding the noun “while” and is not joined with “while” to make one word. For example, “In a while, I will take a break.”

To test if you are using the right one, try filling in another adverb or noun in place of “awhile” or “a while.” For example, “I will work awhile and then take a break” can become “I will work quickly and then take a break.” Since “quickly” is an adverb and it works in this sentence, I would use “awhile.” In the opposite way, “In a while, I will take a break” can become “In a minute, I will take a break.” Since “minute” is a noun and it works in this sentence, I would use “a while.”

Awhile vs A While

 

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