Is Meanwhile Adverb Or Noun Or Conjunction? 5 Complete Facts


Adverb, noun and conjunction are three different parts of speech of English. In this article we will find out to which part of speech the word “meanwhile” belongs to.

“Meanwhile” is an adverb and a noun which can also be a connector. Adverbs give supplementary details about action words, other adverbs or descriptors. Conjunctions solely does the role of connecting. But adverb “meanwhile” can also connect words or clauses while modifying the verb, or adjective.

We shall now explore and examine five important facts related to the word “meanwhile” and the parts of speech to which it belongs to.

When is “meanwhile” an adverb?

We already saw that the word “meanwhile” can be an adverb. Here let us get to know more about the instances when “meanwhile” can function as an adverb.

The below tabular column will tell us the instances when the word “meanwhile” can or will function as an adverb.

Instances When “Meanwhile” Is An AdverbExamplesExplanationsUsage Of “Meanwhile” As An Adverb
1. When used to denote an action at the same time when another action is already occurring or happening.You can serve the starters. Meanwhile, I will bring the main course.In this sentence, the adverb “meanwhile” is used to denote that both the actions of bringing the main course and serving the starters are happening at the same time or simultaneously. 
 
Hence, here adverb “meanwhile” modifies the action words “bring” and “serve” by telling the time when the actions are happening.
2. When used to denote two actions happening at the same time but at different places.We were arranging the chairs in the classroom. Meanwhile, in the playground, Hari was playing the match.In this sentence, the adverb “meanwhile” is utilized to indicate that both the actions of we arranging the chairs and Hari playing the match are happening at the same time but at different places (classroom and playground).
 
Thus, the adverb “meanwhile” here modifies the action words “were arranging” and “was playing” by telling us the time and place where both the actions are happening or taking place.
3. When used to denote the contrast between two actions that are occurring simultaneously.
Suhana’s concentration in studies increased. Meanwhile, Vihana’s concentration in studies decreased.
Here, the adverb “meanwhile” is utilized to depict that both the actions of increase in Suhana’s concentration in studies and decrease in Vihana’s concentration in studies are taking place at the same time.
 
Thus, the adverb “meanwhile” describes the action words “increased” and “decreased” by telling us the time when the actions happened and also the contrast between both the actions.
Instances When “Meanwhile” Can Function As An Adverb

Is “meanwhile” a conjunctive adverb?

Now, that we have already seen when the word “meanwhile” will be an adverb. We shall find out if the word “meanwhile” is a conjunctive adverb.

The word “meanwhile” is a conjunctive adverb. An adverb that not just modifies the verb, but also does the work of a conjunction by connecting or linking two clauses into a single sentence is regarded as a conjunctive adverb.

Example: Suhana was washing the vessels; meanwhile, her sister was cleaning the kitchen.

  • Clause 1: Suhana was washing the vessels
  • Clause 2: meanwhile, her sister was cleaning the kitchen
  • Conjunctive adverb: meanwhile

In this sentence, the word “meanwhile” is a conjunctive adverb as it tells us when the actions (washing and cleaning) happened and also connects clause 1 and clause 2 together.

When is “meanwhile” a conjunctive adverb?

“Meanwhile” is a conjunctive adverb when it is introducing a clause which acts as an adverbial modifier of the verb present in the principal clause and thereby linking both the clauses into a one whole sentence.

Let us, in the following table, see a few examples where the word “meanwhile” is used a conjunctive adverb.

ExamplesClausesExplanationsUsage of “meanwhile” as a conjunctive adverb
1. Ruhan played basketball; meanwhile, Sanjit played volleyball.Clause 1: Ruhan played basketball
Clause 2: meanwhile, Sanjit played volleyball
Here, “meanwhile” functions as a conjunctive adverb. 

As an adverb it is telling us that the action of playing basketball by Ruhan and action of playing volleyball by Sanjit happened at the same time and also the contrast between what game they played.
As a conjunctive adverb, “meanwhile” is modifying and also connecting the two actions – playing basketball and playing volleyball (clauses) into a single sentence.
2. You write your homework; meanwhile, I will prepare dinner.Clause 1: you write your homework
Clause 2: meanwhile, I will prepare dinner
In this sentence, “meanwhile” takes up the role of a conjunctive adverb. 

As an adverb it is telling us that the actions of writing and preparing are occurring simultaneously.
As a conjunctive adverb, “meanwhile” is modifying and also joining the two actions – write and prepare (clauses) into a single sentence.
3. Let the students learn for the test; meanwhile, you can frame the question paper.Clause 1: let the students learn for the test
Clause 2: meanwhile, you can frame the question paper
“Meanwhile” is the conjunctive adverb utilized in this sentence.

As an adverb “meanwhile” is denoting to us that the actions framing the question paper can be done during the time when students are learning for the test. This shows that both the activities are occurring at the same time.
As a conjunctive adverb, “meanwhile” is describing and also joining the two actions – learn and frame (clauses) into one sentence.
Usage of “Meanwhile” As A Conjunctive Adverb

Is “meanwhile” a noun?

While “meanwhile” can be an adverb, it can also belong to yet another part of speech. We shall get to know if that other part of speech “meanwhile” belongs to is noun.

The word “meanwhile” also belongs to the part of speech noun. A noun is nothing but a naming word of a person, animal, object, place, or an idea or a concept.

Example: The new tables will arrive soon, but we can adjust with these tables for the meanwhile.

In the above sentence, the word “meanwhile” is functioning as a noun, since it is naming the time period (meantime) for which they have to adjust with these tables. The word “meanwhile” here refers meantime.

When is “meanwhile” a noun?

“Meanwhile” is a noun when it is used to name a particular time period or a short period of time.

The table below lists a few sentences in which the word “meanwhile” is utilized as a naming word (noun).

Examples Usage of “Meanwhile”Explanations
1. I am planning to join a start up for the meanwhile.In this sentence, the word “meanwhile” is functioning as a noun.Here, “meanwhile” is used to name a particular short period of time for which “I” is planning to join a start up.
2. In the meanwhile, Suha will mail you the reports.In this sentence, the word “meanwhile” is taking up the role of a noun.Here, “meanwhile” is used to name a particular period of time in which Suha will mail the reports to you.
3. For the meanwhile, we shall concentrate on marketing our product.The word “meanwhile” is utilized as a naming word (noun) in this sentence.Here, “meanwhile” is naming a particular period of time (as of now, for the meantime) for which “we” shall concentrate on marketing the product. 
Usage Of “Meanwhile” As A Noun

Is “meanwhile” a conjunction?

We all know that the word “meanwhile” is used for connecting, but is it a conjunction? Let us here explore if “meanwhile” belongs to the part of speech “conjunction”.

“Meanwhile” is not a conjunction. A conjunction is a word that merely helps to connect words, phrases or clauses. Though “meanwhile” is used for connecting clauses, it not just connects, but also modifies the action verbs in the clauses while connecting them. So, it is not regarded as a conjunction.

Example: Ravindar cleaned the shelf; meanwhile, I dusted the things.

“Meanwhile” in the above sentence is not a conjunction. Along with connecting two clauses “Ravindar cleaned the shelf” and “meanwhile, I dusted the things”, it is also modifying the actions “cleaned” and “dusted” by telling us when the actions happened. By doing so, it is functioning as a conjunctive adverb and not a conjunction.

Conclusion

This article, thus clearly makes us understand the parts of speech to which the word “meanwhile” belongs to and why.

Read more about Is Finally Adverb Or Conjunction?

Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran

Hi... I am Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran, a university rank holder in M.A. English Literature. I have also done my master's in Business Administration. Inquisitive as I am, my interest in action-oriented research helped me publish research papers in reputed journals. Now, as a career, I am an instructor where I teach young and adorable students the intricate technicalities of Public Speaking and Creative Writing. I also enjoy writing articles on topics I specialize and research in. You can connect with me through LinkedIn.-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sowndharya-j-972378233

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