There was a little exercise where you have to put a word in the gap, the sentence was like this:

"In a recent film, during ____ a family was waiting to have a meal..."

Answer was "which", but I put "when", then I searched for this topic and on some forum, it was written that when and which both are grammatically correct, but "when" is redundant, I agree in this case, because "during" also indicates time, but I want to know if "during when" phrase has any grammatical issue?

  • No. Delete during for "when a family was..." Jun 21 at 22:30
  • Google Ngrams suggests during when is almost never used
    – Henry
    Jun 21 at 22:36
  • 1
    Was the family watching the film, or were they part of it? Jun 21 at 23:15
  • 1
    I agree with Weather Vane's comment above, which is why I think the full sentence, and not its fragment, should be added IN the question. I know you're thinking it's not essential because you're asking about the grammaticality of "during when" but the original sentence will make it easier for users to post an answer and explain.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 22 at 5:57
  • @Mari-LouA It's only the good questions that give full sentences; everybody else seems to think that fragments and X's and Y's are all we word wizards need. Jun 22 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


"during when" is an extremely rare phrase to use, I'd rather go with "during which". To make the sentence even simpler, you can remove "during" altogether from the sentence:

In a recent film, which a family was waiting to have a meal ...

  • 1
    By removing "during" you have changed the meaning. I would use while OR in which. See how the meaning changes?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 22 at 5:04
  • Really, whoops? but during which in a film is general, it could be at any time of the movie, which is the same as removing it @Mari-LouA
    – DialFrost
    Jun 22 at 5:06

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