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"The TV program ended while I did not know entirely."

This sentence looks grammatically correct but doesn't sound right to me. Can anybody help me with the usage of "while"? When and when not to use "while". Or what conjunction best suits the sentence. Thank you.

Actually, that is my Japanese friend's sentence. I asked her about it and what she meant was she was doing something else so she did not know about the TV program entirely because when she decided to watch the TV program again, it already ended.

Can you help me rephrase the sentence using another conjunction? Thank you.

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    That is not grammatical, and you’re correct in thinking it sounds wrong. I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. What do you mean by “I did not know entirely” in this context? – Mixolydian Mar 20 at 2:21
  • Actually, that is my Japanese friend's sentence. I asked her about it and what she meant was she was doing something else so she did not know about the TV program entirely because when she decided to watch the TV program again, it already ended. – Enaj Culz Mar 20 at 2:36
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How about something like this?

I got totally distracted and did not notice the TV program had already ended

Your sentence does not sound correct to me either.

  • Thank you so much. Can you also give another similar sentence with a conjunction in it? Thanks. – Enaj Culz Mar 20 at 3:18
  • Let's say she was watching TV and her phone rang. That is why she missed out on the TV program. She could say something like this : While I was watching TV I got distracted by a phone call. I could not believe the TV program was already finished by the time the phone call was over. – Maryam Mar 20 at 3:51
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The sentence is not grammatically correct. "While" is either completely miss-used, or it's the wrong word choice.

I suspect, based on the context, that your friend meant to use the word "why". As in, The TV program ended. Why, I did not know entirely.

It's really two sentences, and she's describing her confusion as to why the program ended. "While" would indicate she wasn't sure when it ended.

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Based on the comment and the edit to the question, the meaning is the the show ended during a period when the person was not watching, and the person did not realize that it had ended.

A sentence close in form to the original which does work would be:

The TV program ended while I was not aware.

Perhaps clearer and more natural would be:

The TV program ended but I did not realize it.

In the original sentence, it is not cleat just what the speaker did not know. "Aware" makes it clear that what is lacking is the speaker's knowledge that the show has ended. In the "realize" version, "it" refers back to "The TV program ended". that event of ending is the thing that was not realized. One could also say:

The TV program ended but I did not know that it had ended.

However, this is awkward, because it is longer, and because of the repetition of "ended". It feels overly formal, and not idiomatic.

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