when Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “when” in the English Dictionary

"when" in British English

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whenadverb, conjunction

uk   us   /wen/
A1 at what ​time; at the ​time at which: "I did ​tell you about it." "When? I don't ​remember." When are you going? When's the ​babydue? We'll go when you're ​ready. Tell me when tostart. Ask him when he's next coming ​home. When do you ​expect to have the ​projectcompleted (by)? She was only 20 when she had her first ​baby. He was ​shocked when I told him. I ​hate it when there's no one in the ​office. I went there when I was a ​child. I was just getting into the ​bath when the ​phonerang.

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Grammar

whenpronoun

uk   us   /wen/

whenconjunction

uk   us   /wen/
  • when conjunction (CONSIDERING THAT)

B2 considering the ​fact that: How can you say you don't like something when you've never ​eventried it! You can't ​complain about being ​lonely when you don't make any ​effort to ​meetpeople. Why is she ​training to be a ​teacher when she doesn't ​even like ​children? I don't ​suppose I can really ​call myself a ​vegetarian when I ​eatfish.

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  • when conjunction (ALTHOUGH)

B2 despite the ​fact that: He says he doesn't have any ​money when in ​fact he has thousands of ​dollars in his ​account. I don't ​understand how he can say that everything's ​fine when it's so ​obvious that it's not.

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(Definition of when from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"when" in American English

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whenconjunction, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /hwen, wen, hwən, wən/
at what ​time; at the ​time at which: When is ​supper going to be ​ready? When did the American Civil War ​begin? I was just getting into the ​shower when the ​phonerang.

whenconjunction

 us   /hwen, wen, hwən, wən/
  • when conjunction (CONSIDERING THAT)

considering the ​fact that: I can’t really ​call myself a ​vegetarian when I ​eatfish.
  • when conjunction (ALTHOUGH)

despite the ​fact that: He says he hasn’t got any ​money when the ​truth is he’s got plenty.
(Definition of when from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “when”
in Korean 언제…
in Arabic مَتى…
in Malaysian sedangkan…
in French alors que…
in Russian когда?…
in Chinese (Traditional) 甚麼時候,何時…
in Italian quando…
in Turkish ne zaman…
in Polish kiedy…
in Spanish si…
in Vietnamese mặc dù…
in Portuguese quando…
in Thai แม้ว่า…
in German wenn…
in Catalan quan…
in Japanese いつ…
in Chinese (Simplified) 什么时候,何时…
in Indonesian padahal…
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