4

In most cases, the way I see it, these words mean the same thing in context:

  • Whereas/although/while this car is old it is still very popular and pricey.

How do I choose one or another or is there no difference between them?

I mean, should it bother me to care to choose one and not any other in certain contexts?

2

Yes, these all are different words with different meanings. There are some circumstances where all three might work, but that doesn't mean all work in all circumstances.

Whereas is much more formal and is used in things like legal documents and formal proofs. It means the same as "given" or "presuming", and is really little more than a preface to some logical statement: "whereas A is true, we can conclude B".

Whereas can also be used to contrast two statements in much the same way as "but" or "however", in a more formal way: "Whereas A is true in one case, B is true in another"

Whereas the plaintiff was given many warnings about the dangers of his product, he cannot now claim he should bear no responsibility to the defendants who were injured by it.

Although is common and generally means despite or regardless of: "although* A may be true, it is not relevant to B".

Although the plaintiff was given many warnings about the dangers of his product, those dangers are inherent to its use and clearly iterated in the user manual, and the defendants should assume full responsibility for the risk.

While is common and generally means concurrent or included with: "while A may be true, B is also true".

While it is true the use of the product is inherently risky, the issue lies in the plaintiff's faulty design, not the way the product was used.

Again, there is some overlap in many contexts, because each represents similar logic.

  • So, basically, when I have a sentence like the one I do now then any of the three will do, but depending on the style and stress I can pick the word I want? – SovereignSun Sep 18 '17 at 6:33
  • @SovereignSun Yes, as long as each works for the context. These three words are not synonyms, but since each can be used to make logical statements, you can use the one that best fits your logic. – Andrew Sep 18 '17 at 13:36
2

Assuming the idea you want to express is that you prefer to get wet over carrying an umbrella; it is raining but nonetheless you are not going to carry an umbrella:

Although it is raining, I refuse to bring an umbrella. OK

Whereas it is raining, I refuse to bring an umbrella. not OK

While it is raining, I refuse to bring an umbrella. not a perfectly clear expression of the idea

In most non-legalistic contexts in contemporary English, whereas can be understood as a synonym for yet or to the contrary:

You bring an umbrella whereas|while|yet I do not. OK

It introduces a clause that runs contrary to the idea expressed by the previous assertion.

In legalistic contexts, whereas works like Since or Given the fact that:

Whereas Customer wishes to purchase platinum-plated electrical connectors and Vendor is in the business of providing such connectors, therefore the two parties do hereby agree ...

1

Although/though can be used to contrast ideas. Although/though are subordinating conjunctions used to connect a subordinate clause to a main clause, like after, as, before, if, since, that, even though, even if.

*But cannot be used in the same way as although/though. We use but to connect items which are the same grammatical type (coordinating conjunction).

  • We’ve still enjoyed our holiday, although it rained a lot.

  • It rained a lot but we’ve still enjoyed our holiday.

  • Not: But it rained a lot, we’ve still enjoyed our holiday.

Although can sound more formal than but. Though is much more common in speaking than in writing. Although is much more common in writing than in speaking.

From Cambridge Dictionary

While and whilst mean the same when we use them as conjunctions. They both mean ‘during the time that something else happens’, or ‘in contrast with something else’. While is much more common than whilst, and whilst sounds more formal:

  • Would you like something to eat while we’re waiting? (less common: … whilst we’re waiting?) (during the time we’re waiting)

From Cambridge Dictionary

We use the conjunction whereas to indicate a contrast between two facts or ideas:

  • He loves foreign holidays, whereas his wife prefers to stay at home.

  • Whereas most new PCs have several USB slots, older ones often only had one.

Note that:

Whereas means the same as while in sentences expressing contrasts. It does not mean the same as while when while refers to time:

From Cambridge Dictionary

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