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  1. #1
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default How long before OR how long until

    In the following sentence:

    How long before the light of stars fades?

    ...could I also use:

    How long until the light of stars fades?

    Are they interchangeable or is there an essential difference in meaning?
    And would I need 'will' in either of these sentences?

    Thank you,
    Joost

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How long before OR how long until

    Quote Originally Posted by Balkenende View Post
    In the following sentence:

    How long before the light of stars fades?

    ...could I also use:

    How long until the light of stars fades?

    Are they interchangeable or is there an essential difference in meaning?
    And would I need 'will' in either of these sentences?

    Thank you,
    Joost
    You could use either "until" or "before. You don't need "will", however, you could rewrite it using it.
    It's not a very natural sentence, though.

  3. #3
    eunice65078 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How long before OR how long until

    Depending on what you are asking (star light fading at dawn? star light fading out forever?), to be more natural, you might say "How long will it be before/until the light of stars fade?"

    I'm not a teacher, but have used the language at work and home for many years...

  4. #4
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How long before OR how long until

    It's part of a poem, where I have the freedom to be a little less 'natural'. ;)

  5. #5
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How long before OR how long until

    Thanks. As I said above, it's part of poem, and I don't have room for 'will it be' in that part of the sentence (the line of the poem).

  6. #6
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    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: How long before OR how long until

    If you weren't writing a poem where, as you say, you can write pretty much what you want, I would say it should be written:

    How long until the starlight fades?
    How long until the light of the stars fades?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    Balkenende is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How long before OR how long until

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If you weren't writing a poem where, as you say, you can write pretty much what you want, I would say it should be written:

    How long until the starlight fades?
    How long until the light of the stars fades?
    Well, not whatever I want. But you have to struggle with number of syllables, rhythm etc. And you can put things a little more poetically.

    But otherwise, yes, I would write what you wrote!

  8. #8
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: How long before OR how long until

    Can you appreciate, Balkenende, that it would have been more helpful for us to know that you were writing a poem in message #1 rather than #4?

    Rover

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