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Thread: till and until

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  1. #1
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default till and until

    Hi,teachers

    Is there any difference between the two words ? Which one is more formal than the other one and which one do English natives use most?Why?

    I admit [ but I can`t explain why] that "till" sounds to me as an unfinished word.Can I use them as follows?
    a] I`ll be there till Friday .
    b] I`ll be there until Friday.
    or better
    c] I`ll be there by Friday.

    Are these sentences correct?

    What is the difference [if any] among [a] , [b] and [c] ?


    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: till and until

    Hello Teia

    "Until" is an interesting word, as it consists of the Old Norse "und" plus the Old English "til", both of which meant "till". So the meaning is duplicated.

    However, there is a general notion that "till" is a shortened form of "until" so you often see it written 'til.

    There are some set phrases in which only one can appear (e.g. "till death do us part", "unless and until"); but on the whole, they are interchangeable. However, if the "until/till" clause begins the sentence, it's much more usual to use "until", e.g.

    1. Until today, I had never met a Russian tightrope-walker.

    2. Until you learn to behave yourself, I'm confiscating your remote control.

    "Until" is now more likely to be found in a formal context; though "till" is very common in poetry, for metrical reasons.

    Have a good weekend,

    MrP

  3. #3
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: till and until

    PS:

    1. I`ll be there until Friday.

    This means "I expect to leave there on Friday".

    2. I`ll be there by Friday.

    This means "I expect to arrive there no later than Friday".

    MrP

  4. #4
    Teia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: till and until

    Hi Mr Pedantic

    I did not think of the ethymology of these two words ,though I should have.

    You offered me a very interesting and complete explanation on "till", "until" and "by".


    Thank you very much .I appreciate your effort.

    Have a nice weekend,

    Teia

  5. #5
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    Default Re: till and until

    Hi, Mr Pedantic is right . Also sometimes people use till when they are saying goodbye so instead of saying I`ll see you tomorrow , they say "till tomorrow" ( colloquial )

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