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  1. Paulys's Avatar
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    #1

    Question Till - Untill

    What's up
    Please explain me what is the difference between till and until and please tell me when we use them and give some examples :)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Till - Untill

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulys View Post
    What's up
    Please explain me what is the difference between till and until and please tell me when we use them and give some examples :)
    1) It's spelt "until" (just one "l" at the end)

    2) Till is a contraction of until (and I believe that in the past some people put an apostrophe at the beginning of the word to show the missing letters. That seems to have gone out of fashion.)

    3) Many people spell it "til".

    They are interchangeable although "till" is less formal.

    It's only five months until Christmas.
    There's only eight months to go till my birthday.
    I'm not buying you a present until you say sorry.
    He'll be at the party till about midnight.

  3. Paulys's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Till - Untill

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's only five months until Christmas.
    If I understood correctly it can be:
    It's only five months until Christmas.
    or
    It's only five months till Christmas.
    Is it right?

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Till - Untill

    Actually, a school of thought exists for which it is not at all a contraction but a different approach based on negation.

    I edit a peer-reviewed journal at the University of Toronto, and one of our contributors from Israel wrote a very interesting piece on this very question. His name is Yishai Tobin, a very famous scholar:

    http://french.chass.utoronto.ca/as-s....No8.Tobin.pdf

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    #5

    Re: Till - Untill

    Interesting view as they're sometimes given as examples of exact synonyms.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Till - Untill

    It is indeed interesting but, for me, not convincing. The differences that Tobin claims may be present for some speakers/writers, but my (not very scientific) observation over the years suggests that:

    1. For most speakers and writers they are exact synonyms.
    2. Many speakers and writers tend to use mainly one of the two forms.
    3. Where a difference is felt, it is generally that 'till' is less formal.

    The dictionaries and grammars I have consulted agree with me on points #1 and #3.

    If it be true that most speakers do not feel the difference that Tobin notes, then it is not a real difference , except for a minority of speakers/writers. And, even if it true for some, this becomes irrelevant if the majority of listeners/readers do not appreciate the subtle point being made.

    Personally, I use whilst and while with subtly different meanings, but most people don't, so I could save myself the trouble.

    If you analysed my speech and writing, you would find that I use may and might with subtly different meanings. I am not alone in this and, historically, they did have different meanings, might being the past-tense form of may. However, most speakers and writers appear not to feel a difference today; indeed many Americans do not use may at all. There is no point in those who of us feel a difference preserving this. (That will not stop me doing it, but that is irrelevant.)

    So, as I suggested above, even if some speakers and writers do use till and until to suggest different meanings, most of us are not aware of it,and it is therefore not relevant to learners.
    Last edited by 5jj; 21-Jul-2011 at 19:22.

  6. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Till - Untill

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It is indeed interesting but, for me, not convincing. The differences that Tobin claims may be present for some speakers/writers, but my (not very scientific) observation over the years suggests that:

    1. For most speakers and writers they are exact synonyms.
    2. Many speakers and writers tend to use mainly one of the two forms.
    3. Where a difference is felt, it is generally that 'till' is less formal.

    The dictionaries and grammars I have consulted agree with me on points #1 and #3.

    If it be true that most speakers do not feel the difference that Tobin notes, then it is not a real difference , except for a minority of speakers/writers. And, even if it true for some, this becomes irrelevant if the majority of listeners/readers do not appreciate the subtle point being made.

    Personally, I use whilst and while with subtly different meanings, but most people don't, so I could save myself the trouble.

    If you analysed my speech and writing, you would find that I use may and might with subtly different meanings. I am not alone in this and, historically, they did have different meanings, might being the past-tense form of may. However, most speakers and writers appear not to feel a difference today; indeed many Americans do not use may at all. There is no point in those who of us feel a difference preserving this. (That will not stop me doing it, but that is irrelevant.)

    So, as I suggested above, even if some speakers and writers do use till and until to suggest different meanings, most of us are not aware of it,and it is therefore not relevant to learners.
    Actually, I agree with you. We don't edit things we agree with, just things which are coherent and serious.

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