- When describes a point in time, and the circumstances under which something occurred.
An example of when is the time at which you go to the store.
- When is defined as information such as what time, what point or an alternative.
An example of when is the point in time that the runners started running.
- at what time?: when did they leave? he asked when he should go
- on what occasion or under what circumstances?: when do you double the final consonant?
- at what point?: when shall I stop pouring?
- at an earlier time and under different, often less favorable, circumstances: I knew him when
Origin of whenMiddle English whenne from Old English hwænne, akin to German wann, when, wenn, if, akin to hwa, who: see what
- at what time or point: they told us when to eat
- at the time that: when we were at college
- at which: a time when people must speak out
- as soon as: the runners started when the gun went off
- at whatever time; whenever: she smiles when you praise her
- although; while on the contrary: to complain when there's no reason to do so
- if; considering the fact that: how can he help when they won't let him?
- what time: until when will you stay?
- which time: we came a week ago, since when we've been very busy
- At the time that: in the spring, when the snow melts.
- As soon as: I'll call you when I get there.
- Whenever: When the wind blows, all the doors rattle.
- During the time at which; while: When I was young, I was sick all the time.
- Whereas; although: She stopped short when she ought to have continued.
- Considering that; if: How can he get good grades when he won't study?
- What or which time: Since when has this been going on?
- At or during the time that: Where were you on the night when the murder took place?
Origin of whenMiddle English from Old English hwenne ; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: In informal style when is often used after forms of be in definitions: A dilemma is when you don't know which way to turn. Although useful, this construction is widely regarded as incorrect or unsuitable for formal discourse. In formal style such definitions should be recast to eliminate is when, either by supplying a generic term that may be modified by a restrictive adjective clause ( A dilemma is a situation in which you don't know which way to turn ) or by making the when-clause adverbial ( You are in a dilemma when you don't know which way to turn ). When is acceptable, however, when a noun phrase that denotes a point in time is being defined or described: The best time to drink this tea is when you are sleepy.
- (interrogative) Used to introduce questions about time.
- When will they arrive?
- Used to introduce indirect questions about time.
- Do you know when they arrived?
- Do you know when they will arrive?
- Do you know when they arrive?
- At an earlier and less prosperous time.
- He's mister high and mighty now, but I remember him when.
- (interrogative) What time; which time
- Since when do I need your permission?
- The time.
- A good article will cover the who, the what, the when, the where, the why and the how.
- That's enough, a command to stop adding something, especially an ingredient of food or drink.
From Middle English when(ne), whan(ne), from Old English hwenne, hwÃ¦nne, hwonne (“when"), from Proto-Germanic *hwannÄ“ (“at what time, when"), from Proto-Indo-European *kÊ·o-, *kÊ·i- (“interrogative base"). Cognate with Dutch wanneer (“when") and wen (“when, if"), German wann (“when") and wenn (“when, if"), Gothic ðˆðŒ°ðŒ½ (Æ•an, “when, how"), Latin quandÅ (“when"). More at who.
Interjection sense: a playful misunderstanding of "say when" (i.e. say when you want me to stop) as "say [the word] when".