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Difference between "lors (de)" and "pendant", and their usages

I have been learning French for a couple of years, and one thing that I have been confused about is when to use "lors de" and "pendant".

Both mean "while/during", though, "pendant" can mean "through/for", too.

I encountered a sentence on Lingvist that said this: Nous nous sommes rencontrés lors de vacances. It was a fill-in-the-blank situation where the "lors de" wasn't shown. I typed "pendant" and that obviously was the wrong answer.

So, in what context or situation would you use "lors de" as opposed to "pendant" and vice versa?

By the way, I apologize if this is a ridiculous question. ^ ^

November 16, 2017



This article explains it

Quote from article : LORS DE' VERSUS 'PENDANT' ('DURING')
Be careful not to confuse the prepositions lors de and pendant. They can both be translated by "during," but lors de refers to a single moment in time, while pendant indicates a duration of time.


Ah, I see my error in thinking. I ought to have known that. Thank you for clarifying!


The two can often be used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings. "Lors de" refers to a singular moment in time usually, whereas "pendant" is usually used to refer to more connected periods of time. "Lors de" is supposed to be affiliated with a single instant in time while "pendant" is similarly used for lengths of time. For example, "lors du commencement de son entrainement" would be better than "pendant le commencement de son entrainement" because the "commencement" or "start" of something is easily definable as a single instant in time. I hope this helps :)


It's not a ridiculous question. I had to take a sheet of paper and write out the differences (from the article @Qiunnn mentions) between quand/lorsque, quand, lorsque/alors que/tandis que, and pendant. I keep it close by while studying. One I wish she had covered is "dès que" which is "as soon as" but could also be translated as "when".

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