In this English grammar lesson you will learn the difference between the common words used in English conversation ‘by’ and ‘until’.
We use by to talk about a deadline and is always followed by a specific time and not later than.
- We have to be home by 5’O clock.
- The milk has to be consumed by 14th
- I have to be at the airport by 8:20 PM
All the sentences indicate that an activity has to be complete before the specific time and not later than that.
Until is used in English conversation to talk about a situation that continues. We use until to talk about something that will keep going on for duration of time from a specific time to another.
- Let’s wait until it stops raining.
- David will be away until Monday.
- I stayed in bed until late afternoon on Sunday.
In modern English ‘Until’ and ‘till’ are the same and interchangeable.
By the time
The phrase ‘by the time’ is used in two different situations:
- When something happens
- It’s too late to go to the bank now, by the time we get there it will be closed.
- Our holiday ends tomorrow so by the time you get the postcard, I will be back home.
- When something happened
- I had a lot of work to do last evening. I was very tired by the time I finished it.
We hope this English grammar lesson has helped you to understand the difference between the words ‘by’ and ‘until’ and you would use them in your English conversation correctly.