Is it “During which time” or is it simply “During which”? This is a question that still confuses a lot of English speakers. This article will clarify what the difference between the two phrases is, if they’re interchangeable, and which one you should use.
Both “During which time” and “During which” are accurate and grammatically correct. Which one you use depends on personal preference, because their meanings are incredibly close. “During which time” is more specific than “During which”, but they both convey the same idea of something occurring inside a specific time period.
Both “During which time” and “During which” will be interchangeable in most situations where a time is specified. If you prefer “During which time” because it’s more specific, you can use that phrase.
However, if you consider “During which time” to be redundant because “During” as a word already implies a timeframe, then you can use “During which” without the meaning of the sentence changing at all.
“During which” should be used in contexts where you wish to talk about what happened inside a specific period of time. If a timeframe is established, you can freely use “During which”.
“During which” is a useful sentence to keep in mind for explaining when a certain event happened, and it properly conveys that meaning without the need for further elaboration.
Here are some examples of the way you’d use “During which” in a sentence:
- I fell asleep for 5 hours, during which I dreamed about the ocean.
- I watched a movie, during which I was highly entertained and excited.
- She started her shift, during which she got all of her work done.
- The plane ride started, during which he took the opportunity to watch a movie.
- The meeting started, during which everyone presented what they’d done in the last week.
- I was in the kitchen for several hours, during which I prepared all of my meals for the week.
- He left the house for three hours, during which he jogged at the park and had breakfast.
- We started the conference, during which one of the delegates got up and left.
- I waited at the bus stop for an hour, during which I finished reading a book.
- The power went out for half an hour, during which I cleaned all of my room.
“During which time” is a perfectly accurate way to convey what happened in a given timeframe. It’s a slightly more formal and verbose phrase than “During which”.
“During which time” can be used if you want to be really specific about when something happened, and if you want to eliminate any chance of there being any doubts.
Here are a few example sentences:
- I went to bed, during which time I read a full book and then fell asleep.
- She got on the train and fell asleep, during which time the train traveled to its destination.
- I went to the concert, during which time my friend woke up and realized he was late.
- He went to his office and wrote some forms, during which time the required documents arrived.
- She went to the audition and waited, during which time the other auditioners went in front of her.
- They arrived in the city and went to a diner, during which time I searched for them.
- We got up and left in our respective cars, during which time our friends got ready to leave.
- She went to the theater and sat down, during which time they prepared the play backstage.
- He sat down to compose the song, during which time she laid back and relaxed.
- I waited for several hours at his office, during which time he got in a car accident.
Yes, while there are some small semantic differences between “During which” and “During which time”, they’re interchangeable expressions and whichever one gets used is up to the personal preference of the speaker.
According to data compiled by the Google Ngram Viewer, “During which” sees a lot more use than “During which time”, and has done so since the year 1900 at least.
This makes sense when you consider that they’re both pretty much interchangeable expressions, and that people will opt for the simpler one because of that.
“During which time” is used to talk about an event that happened in a specific time range, while “When” is used to define the specific moment in time when something happened.
There are specific contexts in which you can replace “During which time” with “When”, but this won’t always be the case.
Here’s a couple of examples of the different expressions used in the same phrase:
- I was at the theater watching a movie, during which time I got a phone call.
- I was at the theater watching a movie, when I got a phone call.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.