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Such instructions [the underlined in red] are usually written in this way. Another example can be:

Wear a helmet while riding a motorbike.

Which of the following is more idiomatic?

A. Be seated while drinking water.

B. Drink water being seated/ having sat down.
  • A doesn't strike me as particularly idiomatic, but it's at least "credible" (which 'B isn't). Please sit down while drinking or Please do not drink while standing sound better to me. But why on earth would anyone want to single out water as the relevant fluid for the context? They surely don't want to imply it's okay to drink beer without taking a seat. May 14 at 13:01
  • I wouldn't say either one, I'd say "Sit down while drinking water."
    – stangdon
    May 14 at 15:06
  • Incidentally, it should also be "on packaging" (no article) or "on a package" because packaging is a mass noun.
    – stangdon
    May 14 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


The instructions are different. The first tell you to "be seated", the second tells you to "drink water".

So the first instruction means "If you are drinking water, you must sit down (but if you are not drinking water there is no rule)". The second means "You must sit down and you must drink water." The second meaning would be odd to write on a sign.

The first is okay. It is an odd rule, but I suppose it might be the rule on an aeroplane. It might be okay in written form on a sign or similar. The second is a rather odd phrasing. I'd prefer "Sit down and drink some water".

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