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    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 6
    #1

    By VS until

    How can I know the differences about 'by' and 'until'

    I think 'by' means when I finish the action and I think 'until' means the same.

    Please help a confusion person.

    T


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: By VS until

    Why not write two sentences, using 'by', and 'until', where you feel confused. Then posters can explain the meaning of the sentences to you.


    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 6
    #3

    Re: By VS until

    I will be finished by 6 pm

    I will be finished until 6 pm

    I won't be finished until 6 pm

    I won't be finished by 6 pm



    It is the same I think.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #4

    Re: By VS until

    Quote Originally Posted by tudodude View Post
    I will be finished by 6 pm

    I will be finished until 6 pm

    I won't be finished until 6 pm

    I won't be finished by 6 pm



    It is the same I think.
    I will be finished by 6 pm. At 6pm, whatever I am doing will be finished.

    I will be finished until 6 pm. This sentence is not possible.

    I won't be finished until 6 pm. The work I am doing will not be finished before 6pm.

    I won't be finished by 6 pm. I will not have finished what am doing at 6pm.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: By VS until

    See
    Prepositions: by and until

    particularly the bottom of the page.

    What native speakers (of any language) take for granted, until asked the most innocuous of questions about the words we use, that floors us!

    I have until Friday to hand in my essay.
    I have to hand in my essay by Friday.

    What is the explanation for the difference here that would dispel tudodude's confusion?

    It seems to me that both involve the idea of a 'deadline' AND the time period leading up to the deadline.
    until : to indicate that something continues up to(=time period) a particular point in time (deadline) and then stops.

    by: to indicate that something will be achieved before(=time period) a particular time or at that particular time at the latest.(deadline)

    I don't think those definitions are sufficient to clarify this for an ESL student.
    Anyone firing on all six this morning like to tackle it?
    Last edited by David L.; 12-Aug-2008 at 10:07.

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