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Quick answer
"Durante" is a preposition which is often translated as "during", and "mientras" is a conjunction which is often translated as "while". Learn more about the difference between "durante" and "mientras" below.
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (over a period of time)
a. during
¿Qué hiciste durante las vacaciones de invierno?What did you do during winter break?
b. in
Se recomienda llevar gafas de sol durante el verano.We recommend wearing sunglasses in the summer.
c. for (before a specific period of time)
Mi compañía me ha dado una prima anual durante 10 años.My company has given me an annual bonus for 10 years.
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A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
1. (at the same time)
a. while
Lavó los platos mientras yo dormía la siesta.He did the dishes while I took a nap.
2. (during the time that)
a. as long as (followed by verb in subjunctive)
Mientras trabaje aquí, nunca podré tomarme unas vacaciones en condiciones.As long as I work here, I'll never manage to take a proper vacation.
3. (if)
a. as long as (followed by verb in subjunctive)
Mientras termines los deberes a tiempo, me da igual que escuches música o no.As long as you finish your homework on time, I don't mind if you listen to music.
4. (in contrast with)
a. whereas
Mientras que a mi hermana le encanta leer, a su esposo le encanta trabajar en el jardín.Whereas my sister loves to read, her husband loves to garden.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
5. (at the same time)
a. meanwhile
Tu hermana va a recoger su cuarto. Mientras, tú puedes quitar el polvo del salón.Your sister is going to clean up her room. Meanwhile, you can dust the living room.
b. in the meantime
Saca al perro; mientras, puedo trapear el piso de la cocina. Take the dog out. I can mop the kitchen floor in the meantime.
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