when Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “when” in the English Dictionary

"when" in British English

See all translations

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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

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

"when" in American English

See all translations

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…
What is the pronunciation of when?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

drum

a musical instrument, especially one made from a skin stretched over the end of a hollow tube or bowl, played by hitting with the hand or a stick

Word of the Day

I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
I used to work hard/I’m used to working hard (Phrases with ‘used to’)
by Kate Woodford,
February 10, 2016
On this blog, we like to look at words and phrases in the English language that learners often have difficulty with. Two phrases that can be confused are ‘used to do something’ and ‘be used to something/doing something’. People often use one phrase when they mean the other, or they use the wrong

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More