What's the difference between by and until?
Check out the examples below and then use these words in your own writing and speaking.
by = before a deadline
– I need to finish my reports by five o’clock.
– I need to finish my reports before five o’clock.
by = on or before a deadline
– The package should arrive by Friday.
– The package should arrive on or before Friday.
Until = from a time to a deadline
– I’m going to work on my report from now to five o’clock.
– I’m going to work on my report from now until five o’clock.
– I’m going to work on my report until five o’clock.
– Until you arrive, we can’t start the meeting.
– I’ll wait at the station until you arrive.
Note: till = until
This is usually a bit more casual.
– I’ll be here till about five.
– Can you wait till I get back?
1. I’m working _____ six.
2. I think I’ll be home _____ seven.
3. No dessert _____ you eat your vegetables.
4. _____ ten o’clock, I want to be in bed.
5. This offer is only available _____ Saturday.
6. Construction will continue _____ next summer.
7. Homework must be submitted _____ tomorrow at the latest.
8. I stayed up _____ four o’clock this morning.
9. The train won’t get to the station _____ nine.
1. until 2. by 3. until 4. by 5. until 6. until 7. by 8. until
9. both ok
The train won’t get to the station by nine. = not before nine
The train won’t get to the station until nine. = from now to nine the train will be out of the station
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