This doubt have been bugging me for a while. Does the expression "there's a while" exists? The meaning of it would be something like "it have been happening for a few minutes" or "for some time" but a short time, examples:

  • 1 - There's a while he is staring at me. = He has been staring at me for a few minutes.

  • 2 - There's a while she's playing with the dog. = She has been playing with the dog for some time.

I searched everywhere, but couldn't find anything about it. I swear I saw/listened to it somewhere. Does anyone know anything about it?

  • 2
    No, it doesn't sound familiar. It's been a while is possible, or for a while.
    – Andrew
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 3:57

1 Answer 1


The phrase "there's a while" sounds wrong to me and I would not use it myself. Here's why:

The word "while" is used to reference an unspecified amount of time and that lack of specificity is the problem. A physical object, like a house, is specific ("there's a house"). Concepts and other intangible things can also be specific ("there's a reason"). The ambiguity of "while" suggests you cannot use it in the phrase "there is a...".

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