I looked up Oxford dictionary: In contrast or comparison with the fact that: "you treat the matter lightly, whereas I myself was never more serious"

I am still confusing about this meaning. Please give me another phrase that is exactly same meaning.

And, do I need comma before whereas? I have seen a phrase without comma. Thanks.


The following extract from The Grammarist explain its usage:

  • The conjunction whereas has a number of meanings, but it’s most commonly used to mean although or while in contrast. In these senses of whereas, the word is grammatically identical to while or although. That is, it introduces a dependent clause.

  • Whereas often introduces a thought that contrasts with something in the main clause. For example, consider this sentence:

    • Some couples now both have to work, whereas only one person did before. [Washington Post]
  • In this sentence, whereas introduces something (the fact that only one person in a couple had to work in the past) that is in contrast with something in the main clause (that now couples both have to work). Notice that whereas functions grammatically in the same way that although or while would. It’s preceded by a comma because it introduces a separate dependent clause. Also notice that it’s not preceded by and or but. And would be unnecessary, and but would be redundant.

  • Here are a few more examples of whereas used well:

    • Whereas British Iraq empowered the Sunnis, the Americans would tip the scales in favor of the Shiites. [Wall Street Journal]

    • The typical prediction was 6500, whereas the index is currently trading at about 5400. [Telegraph]

    • Whereas 1991 looked completely different from 1971, which in turn could never be confused with 1951, the early nineties are indestinguishable from today. [Boston Globe]

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I'd tinker with @AlexLee's answer a tiny bit. Whereas is a subordinating conjunction with the meaning, as he said, while on the contrary. But the comma comes before the subordinating conjunction not after it. It's correct in his example, and in yours in the original post.

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  • yep sorry just edited – HUIta Aug 19 '15 at 20:58
  • So, how do you apprehend of "you treat the matter lightly, whereas I myself was never more serious"? I did not get this part "I myself was never more serious." – teizoartjewelry Aug 19 '15 at 21:15
  • "You are not taking this seriously, while I myself, in contrast, am taking the matter very seriously." Does that help? – ewormuth Aug 19 '15 at 21:20
  • @teizoartjewelry: whereas I have never in my life been more serious than I am now. – TRomano Aug 19 '15 at 21:32
  • @ewormuth: thank you so much. Now, its clear and it makes sense an usage of "whereas". – teizoartjewelry Aug 19 '15 at 21:40

it's a conjunction meaning 'while on the contrary'

consider for example

i did it properly, whereas (somebody) did it awfully

see the contrast between awfully and properly

and yes it is usually preceded by a comma

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