The difference between words: until and by

It can be difficult to understand the difference between ‘until’ and ‘by’, so read this to help you. (Then write me your own example sentences!)

by + a time means “not later than”
e. g. You must be home by midnight. / Can you finish the work by six o’clock?

You cannot use until with this meaning.
Call me by 3 o’clock. NOT Call me until/till 3 o’clock.

Something happens by a time in the future.
e. g. I will have gone to bed by the time you get home.

Something continues until a time in the future.
e. g. I will stay up until you get home.
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The difference between words: until and by」への2件のフィードバック

  1. I’m always confused about how to use ” Until & By “.
    Thanks for teaching us!
    I’Ii write some sentences about my skiing using them.

    I have to get up BY 5 am. tomorrow because I’ll go to NIseko with my friends and we’d like to ski the earliest in fresh and powder snow areas which haven’t been yet skied .

    I’ll have arrived at Teine Highland ski resort tomorrow BY THE TIME the ski lifts start to run.

    I’ll go skiing UNTIL snow is gone.
    ( I’m wondering until when I can go skiing this season .
    Hope snow will remain UNTIL the end of the Golden week. )

  2. Well done, Momo. You have used ‘by’ and ‘until’ perfectly!
    (use ‘the’ before snow)


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