Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Confusing Words


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.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Teacher,

I am wondering why we do not use "The" before the word "Details" in the sentence "Details will not be available until January."

I sometimes get confused on using "The" in English. "The" can go along with plural, singular, uncount and count noun, but I haven't understood the way to use it well.

Could you please help me to use it more exactly ??? Thank you so much.