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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

AAE Q118: 'until and til'

Hello,

Is there any difference when to use UNTIL, TILL and UP TO?

Thank you for help.

Jirina


Hi Jirina,

Firstly 'until' and 'till' are basically the same word although 'till' is usually only used in spoken English.

'Until' and 'till' express 'up to that time'. We use either the simple present or simple past with 'until' and 'till'.

  • Don't bother saving me any supper - I shan't be home till late.
  • We had to stay in the exam room until the end of the exam. We couldn't leave early even if we had finished.
  • I had no umbrella so waited until the downpour was over before I left the shop.
  • We don't need to be at the stadium until the first race is over so we don't need to leave home till eleven o' clock.
Although they both express the idea of 'up to' a time, 'up to' cannot replace them in the sentences above. We cannot say:
  • Don't bother saving me any supper - I shan't be home up to late.

Hope this helps

M

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