The Use of By + Until

Summary: When should you use 'by' and 'until'?.

When do we use BY?

We use by to set a time limit for completion:

  • It must be ready by Friday.
  • It can be ready before Friday, but Friday is the final day. (By is a preposition here.)

When do we use UNTIL?

We use until when the activity continues throughout the period up to the time limit:

  • I'll be here until five o'clock.
  • Between now and five o'clock, I shall be here all the time. (Until can be a preposition (until five o'clock) or a conjunction (until you have finished.) )

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