awhile/a while

Stay for awhile… or “Stay for a while?

Is a while (written as two words) correct, or should it be awhile (written as one word)? Both forms are correct, though it depends on how each is used in a sentence.

Object of a preposition:
A while
(two words) should be used when while is serving as the object of a preposition:
Stay for a while. (For is the preposition.)

(one word) should be the choice when being used as an adverb in a sentence:
Stay awhile.

Though there is a difference between the two forms, it’s common to see them used interchangeably.

Posted in Word Choice.

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One Comment:

  1. chefcristo says:

    very nice, but much too brief website (by the way, i don’t use caps except for emphasis or computer SHOUTING.) ALL RIGHT or ALRIGHT…minor subtle preferences…although your explanation addressed the issue.
    consider zeroing in on more important clarity-centered grammar points like the correct use of commas and apostrophes. you might reference a small book, EATS, SHOOTS AND LEAVES. this book, to me, is like a humorous grammar bible. it’s educational, grammar-oriented and fun to read.