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Source:

Renton suggests to Spud that they steal the money and run as Begbie & Sick Boy get drinks in.

Why "as" is used instead of "meanwhile"?

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As and meanwhile are different grammatical objects: the former is a conjunction, while the latter is an adverb. In other words, they are not interchangeable in your sentence. Please notice that in your sentence, as could be changed for while (not meanwhile).

I should suggest if this is not the case yet that you get some theoretical knowledge about the difference between a conjunction and an adverb, for the construction of phrases may depend on those concepts.

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