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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 9
    #1

    I have a question. It's about the usage of "until"

    Hi, I'm a south korean student studying english. Recently I found out that
    I was a bit confused by how to interpret "until". For example

    1. He should turn in his paper to his teacher until monday.
    ->Does that mean he can submit the paper to him on monday and can't on Tuesday or he's not able to do it on Monday?
    2. She won't be at home until September 2nd.
    ->Does that mean she will be at home on Sep. 2nd. or on Sep. 3rd.?
    3. She is on maternity leave until Wednesday
    -> If she works for a company, Does it mean she will be back to office on Wednesday or on Thursday?

    Please give a clear and easy explanation and meaning about these sentences.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by fullupkorea; 12-Apr-2011 at 13:20.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #2

    Re: I have a question. It's about the usage of "until"

    Quote Originally Posted by fullupkorea View Post
    Hi, I'm a south korean student studying english. Recently I found out that
    I was a bit confused by how to interpret "until". For example

    1. He should turn in his paper to his teacher until monday. Not a correct use of "until." You may mean "by" Monday (note: Captial M on Monday), which means Monday is the last day he can turn it in.
    ->Does that mean he can submit the paper to him on monday and can't on Tuesday or he's not able to do it on Monday?
    2. She won't be at home until September 2nd.
    ->Does that mean she will be at home on Sep. 2nd. or on Sep. 3rd.? The 2nd.
    3. She is on maternity leave until Wednesday
    -> If she works for a company, Does it mean she will be back to office on Wednesday or on Thursday? Wednesday

    Please give a clear and easy explanation and meaning about these sentences.
    Thank you.
    Until is used when there is a delay between now and that time.

    The emphasis may be on the period of time between now and then, as the first example. In that case, before that time is covered, but not after. You have until... any time between now and then, but not later.

    The emphasis may be on period of time that comes after that time. In that case, it can refer to a point in time after. Not until the 15th ... you must wait until the 15th. And afterwards is a possiblility.
    • You have until 3 p.m. to turn in your paper. You can turn it in any time before 3. After 3, it is too late.
    • She won't be home until at least the 15th. She may be home on the 15th, or it may be later. She won't be home on the 14th.
    • Don't order dinner until John is here. Not now, but after his arrival is okay.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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