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I have to rewrite the following sentence by changing the participle into a finite verb

Going up the stairs, the boy fell down.

According to me the answer should be

While the boy was going up the stairs, he fell down.

But the answer is

When he was going up the stairs, the boy fell down.

Are both the sentences same?

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    Yes, they are. That is the problem with language exercises which assume that there is only one answer. – Colin Fine Apr 30 at 18:01
  • They have a very subtle difference in meaning, but are essentially the same—and both answer the question. (My own version would probably be As he was going up the stairs, the boy fell down.) – Jason Bassford May 1 at 6:09
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Just because someone says something is the "correct" answer doesn't mean that it is the only correct answer. Here's another:

As the boy was going up the stairs, he fell down.

and there are probably many more.

However "while" is not precisely the same as "when". "While" suggests "during the process of", as an ongoing action, and "when" suggests "at a static moment in time".

While the clock is striking the hour, we will all jump out and surprise her

When the clock strikes the hour, we will all jump out and surprise her.

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