ながら - Grammar Discussion

while ~ing
during
as

Structure

  • Verb[stem] + ながら

:warning: The subject of A and B has to be the same.

[AながらB - A while B. B is the main action, A is the secondary action]

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Hi! Another question here. It has to do with the following prompt:

森の中を あるきながら 、鳥の鳴声が聞こえた。

Only 「~ながら」is accepted as opposed to 「~間に」. I’m just wondering why 「~ながら」 is more acceptable in this case, since in a similar prompt -

パンを焼い ている間に お皿を出した。

– the only acceptable answer is 「~間に」on the grounds that momentary actions/events are better expressed this way over 「~ながら」. Wouldn’t the first example also be an example of a momentary action, or am I missing a different point here?

Thanks as always!

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Hey :grinning:

First of all, there is an error in this sentence.

AながらB demands that both A and B are done by the same person (subject), and both have to be controlled (“active will”) by that person.

聞こえる is an intransitive verb, meaning that something is audible.
The speaker is not actively listening to it, so it is not controlled by the speaker.

Therefore it cannot be used with ながら.

But, it can be used with 間に, since it doesn’t have this restriction.
森の中を歩いている間に、鳥の鳴声が聞こえた。
While I was walking through the woods I heard birds singing.
(Plus, the hearing, in this case, seems to be momentary action)

Other possibilities:
森の中を 歩いている時、鳥の鳴き声が聞こえた。
森の中を 歩いていると、鳥の鳴き声が聞こえた。
(It is also kind of possible to keep 聞こえた:
森の中をあるきながらパンを食べていると、鳥の鳴声が聞こえた。
but as you can seen, both eating and walking are controled by speaker, 聞こえる is in other clause)

Proper sentence:
森の中をあるきながらパンを鳥の声を聞いた。

In this case, both ながら and 間 can be used.

In: パンを焼い ている間に お皿を出した。case,
also, both fits, though ながら would imply that there was enough time for both actions to last at the same time.

I hope it helps a bit,
Cheers, :+1:

PS
Alternative answers have been added, the errors has been fixed.

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Thank you for the quick and thorough explanation! That makes a lot of sense. Although I’m guessing:

Proper sentence:
森の中をあるきながらパンを鳥の声を聞いた。

– is meant to be 「森の中をあるきながら鳥の声を聞いた。」? Just to be sure!

(related side question: would progressive past work in the above sentence as well? i.e., 「~歩きながら鳥の声を聞いていた。」?)

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Hey :slight_smile:

Yes :slight_smile: (Lol)

Yes :))

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Thanks again!! :+1:

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森の中歩きながら鳥の声を聞いた
While I was walking through the forest, I listened to the birds singing.

In this example sentence, why is the forest marked with を, and not で? I am only familiar with を as a direct object marker.

Hey! を, when used with motion verbs*, does not indicate that there is a goal or destination like に or で do. を can mean “across,” “along,” “through,” or “around.”

So, in this particular example, the speaker is walking through the forest rather. They are just passing through, without any direct goals associated with their actions; the actions are bound to a place.

*Here is a good breakdown of this usage of を with a list of motion verbs.

Here is a great explanation with examples.

Cheers!

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@Pushindawood Once again thank you kindly! Helpful as always!

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Apologies I have another question already ごめんね!:bowing_man:

シャドーイングは日本語を聞きながら、繰り返すことだ。
Shadowing is repeating what you hear while listening to Japanese.

What is the particle と expressing here?

@deltacat3 No problem! This is actually a grammar point that comes a bit later and is not just と, but the combination of と and は to make とは. “とは” means… well, “means,” and is a contraction of というのは. Perhaps a better translation for this sentence would be “Shadowing means…” or “Shadowing is the thing known as…” I apologize for the confusion. Here is our lesson on というのは and here is a video with a breakdown and some more examples. Cheers!

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