Quick answer
"While" is a conjunction which is often translated as "mientras", and "meanwhile" is an adverb which is often translated as "mientras tanto". Learn more about the difference between "while" and "meanwhile" below.
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
1. (during)
a. mientras
I love listening to music while I clean the house.Me encanta escuchar música mientras limpio la casa.
2. (as long as)
a. mientras
You will keep your job while I am the boss.Mientras yo sea el jefe, mantendrás tu trabajo.
3. (although)
a. aunque
While he is a good match, her parents do not like him.Aunque sea un buen partido, a los padres de ella no les gusta.
4. (whereas)
a. mientras que
I love the mountains while my husband prefers the sea.Me encantan las montañas mientras que mi marido prefiere el mar.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
5. (time)
a. el rato
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
After a while, I realized I was on the wrong bus.Después de un rato, me di cuenta de que estaba en el autobús equivocado.
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An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (in the meantime)
a. mientras tanto
Alicia said she's on her way. Meanwhile, we can wrap her birthday present.Alicia dijo que viene en camino. Mientras tanto, podemos envolver su regalo de cumpleaños.
b. entretanto
Roger is still getting ready to leave. Meanwhile, let's watch TV.Roger se está preparando para salir. Entretanto, vamos a ver la tele.
2. (at the same time)
a. mientras tanto
It's snowing in Siberia. Meanwhile, in Brazil it's really hot.Está nevando en Siberia. Mientras tanto, en Brasil hace mucho calor.
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