What is the difference between ながら, がてら and つつ?

2 Answers 2


ながら means doing multiple things simultaneously.

がてら means to do one thing at somewhere middle along way to doing another.

つつ means doing multiple things alongside but not necessarily simultaneously, little by little in turn.

'eat while driving'

'eating along the way driving (after having driven half way)'

'take a bite and drive a little, take a bite and drive a little, ...'

  • Yep, same here, I don't quite get your explanation of がてら. Could you please add a few more examples of it in use? Jun 20, 2012 at 19:49
  • がてらに = …をかねて。…のついでに。 So it sounds to me like XがてらにY is like, X is the main thing, and Y is incidental, happening along the way (maybe just because it can, or it's convenient...or whatever). Jun 20, 2012 at 20:02
  • 4
    Maybe worth pointing out that when using ながら, the second half of the sentence is the main/important task. So your first sentence probably gives the impression that you prioritize eating over driving, and would translate to 'driving while eating'.
    – Jeemusu
    Oct 4, 2012 at 2:33

I think the meaning is to drive half the journey (for example) stop for food and then drive again to.the destination.

"We stopped for food on the way here"

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