'While' and 'although'


As I was browsing earlier today in a forum on another site about the English language, a posting caught my attention. The discussion regards the possibility of using "while", with the meaning of "although", in the following sentences:

1 - The street is wet while it hasn't been raining

2 - While it hasn't been raining, the street is wet

I find both sentences a bit strange (the second seems a little better – I can't explain why!)

I know the conjunction "while" can be equivalent to "although", when the connotation is that of contrast, but I wonder if it is always the case. Actually, as far as I know, or maybe it would be more accurate to say, as far as I don't know, as I'm increasingly aware of my ignorance! - anyway, I used to think that "while" could only be used with the meaning of "although" when there was an idea not only of contrast, but also of comparison. In the sentences above, there's clearly no comparison involved. Still, the second sentence doesn't sound all that bad. I'm indeed confused! To express opposition/contrast, are "although" and "while" interchangeable?

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