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    #1

    by x until

    Dear teachers,
    can somebody explain to me the reason for using by and until in the following sentences, which are taken from my textbook..
    I know the general rule, but I just do not get this particular problem.

    Can you repair my watch until Monday?
    No, but we can do it by Tuesday.

    Thank you very much

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: by x until

    Hi katerina.pata

    by vs until

    Both until and by indicate “any time before, but not later than.”


    Until tells us how long a situation continues. If something happens until a particular time, you stop doing it at that time.

    For example:
    They lived in a small house until September 2003. (They stopped living there in September.)

    I will be away until Wednesday. (I will be back on Wednesday.)




    We also use until in negative sentences.

    For example:

    Details will not be available until January.
    (January is the earliest you can expect to receive the details.)



    If something happens by a particular time, it happens at or before that time. It is often used to indicate a deadline.

    For example:
    You have to finish by August 31.
    (August 31 is the last day you can finish; you may finish before this date.)



    We also use by when asking questions.

    For example:
    Will the details be available by December?
    (This asks if they will be ready no later than December.)

    Common Mistakes and Confusing Words in English - Learn English Mistakes

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    #3

    Re: by x until

    Quote Originally Posted by katerina.pata View Post
    Dear teachers,
    can somebody explain to me the reason for using by and until in the following sentences, which are taken from my textbook..
    I know the general rule, but I just do not get this particular problem.

    Can you repair my watch until Monday?
    No, but we can do it by Tuesday.

    Thank you very much
    Until Monday means including Monday.
    By Tuesday means before Tuesday.


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    #4

    Re: by x until

    You do realize that this sentence is incorrect? -that it doesn't make sense:

    Can you repair my watch until Monday?

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    #5

    Re: by x until

    Thanks a lot Mr. David L.!
    I thought it was wrong, but I wasn´t sure.
    I found it in a textbook which wasn´t printed in an English speaking country..
    Thanks again. KP

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    #6

    Re: by x until

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    You do realize that this sentence is incorrect? -that it doesn't make sense:

    Can you repair my watch until Monday?

    hello,

    is the right way "by Monday" because the guy won't be working on it (trying to repair it) continuously until Monday?

    if I said "can you keep your arms up until Monday?", would it be correct because the action begins now and goes on uninterruptedly until the deadline?

    thanks.
    Last edited by jctgf; 25-Apr-2009 at 14:31.

  3. Soup's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: by x until

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hello,

    is the right way "by Monday" because the guy won't be working on it (trying to repair it) continuously until Monday?

    if I said "can you keep your arms up until Monday?", would it be correct because the action begins now and goes on uninterruptedly until the deadline?

    thanks.
    You're exactly right.

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