Mentre is an Italian conjunction that expresses simultaneity or contemporaneity between two actions or events.
Mentre camminavo per strada, ho visto un cane.
While I was walking down the street, I saw a dog.
Mentre tu studiavi, io preparavo la cena.
Meanwhile, while you were studying, I was preparing dinner.
Mentre mangiavo la pizza, ho ricevuto una telefonata.
Whilst I was eating pizza, I received a phone call.
Io preferisco il caffè, mentre mio fratello beve solo tè.
I prefer coffee, whereas my brother only drinks tea.
A1: Mentre mangio, guardo la televisione.
While I eat, I watch TV.
A1: Mia madre cucina mentre mio padre pulisce la casa.
My mother cooks while my father cleans the house.
A1: Mentre leggo un libro, ascolto musica.
While I read a book, I listen to music.
B1: Mentre stavo studiando, è arrivato un messaggio sul mio telefono.
While I was studying, a message arrived on my phone.
B1: Mentre andavo in palestra, ho incontrato un amico per strada.
While I was going to the gym, I met a friend on the way.
B1: Mentre facevo una passeggiata, ho visto un bellissimo tramonto.
While I was taking a walk, I saw a beautiful sunset.
C1: Mentre ero in vacanza, ho visitato molti musei e monumenti storici.
While I was on vacation, I visited many museums and historical monuments.
C1: Mentre lavoravo all'estero, ho imparato a parlare fluentemente una nuova lingua.
While I was working abroad, I learned to speak a new language fluently.
C1: Mentre ascoltavo la conferenza, prendevo appunti per rivedere successivamente.
While I was listening to the lecture, I was taking notes to review later.
Mentre is a very common conjunction in Italian and it is used to connect two clauses that happen at the same time. It can be translated into English as 'while' or 'as', depending on the context. For example, 'Mentre leggevo un libro, mia sorella guardava la televisione' (While I was reading a book, my sister was watching TV). In this case, the two actions are happening simultaneously.
It is important to note that mentre can also express contrast between two actions or events. In this case, it can be translated as 'although' or 'even though'. For example, 'Mentre mi piace il calcio, non ho mai giocato in squadra' (Although I like soccer, I have never played in a team). Here, there is a contrast between the speaker's interest in soccer and their lack of experience playing it.
Finally, mentre can also be used to introduce a temporal clause that describes an action that happens before another one. In this case, it can be translated as 'before' or 'until'. For example, 'Mentre facevo la spesa, ho incontrato un vecchio amico' (Before I went grocery shopping, I ran into an old friend). Here, the temporal clause introduced by mentre describes an action that happened before the main clause.