until


until
until, till
1. Till is not a shortened form of until but is the older word; the un- of until adds the element ‘up to, as far as’. The two words can both be used as prepositions (e.g. until/till tomorrow) or conjunctions (e.g. until/till we reach home) They are largely interchangeable, except that until is more usual at the beginning of a sentence and can sound somewhat more formal, especially in speech:

• He didn't ask any more questions but he kept himself awake till Noreen came home —Ann Pilling, 1987

• Until he got Jackson's note he had been convinced that the man was suffering from some sort of regular illness —C. Horrie et al., 1988

• They say they don't trust him, until he looks them in the eye —Scotland on Sunday, 2004.

2. Up until and up till are needless variants in which the word up is usually redundant and (especially with until) awkward: The fast-growing food-supplement market, in particular that for vitamins, which up till now [read: till now or up to now]

• has largely remained in the hands of smaller companies —Ecologist, 2001

My dad had a stammer up until he was 18 [read: until he was 18 or up to the age of 18] —London Review of Books, 2003.

3. See also unless and until.
4. Until such time as can be effective in emphasizing uncertainty about the outcome, but it should not be made to serve as a more verbose alternative to the simple word until:

• Such noisy groups of youngsters…need to be broken down into smaller groups each controlled by a responsible competent leader or instructor until such time as they become mature canoeists —Canoeist, 1991.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Until — Un*til , prep. [OE. until, ontil; un (as in unto) + til till; cf. Dan. indtil, Sw. intill. See {Unto}, and {Till}, prep.] [1913 Webster] 1. To; unto; towards; used of material objects. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Taverners until them told the same.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • until — [un til′] prep. [ME untill < un (see UNTO) + till, to, TILL1] 1. up to the time of; till (a specified time or occurrence) [until payday] 2. before (a specified time or occurrence): used with a negative [not until tomorrow] 3. Scot …   English World dictionary

  • Until — Un*til , conj. As far as; to the place or degree that; especially, up to the time that; till. See {Till}, conj. [1913 Webster] In open prospect nothing bounds our eye, Until the earth seems joined unto the sky. Dryden. [1913 Webster] But the rest …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Until — may refer to *Until s use as a computer programming language s control flow construction * Until... , the song from the film Kate Leopold …   Wikipedia

  • until — c.1200, from O.N. und as far as, up to (related to O.E. end; see END (Cf. end)) + till until, up to (see TILL (Cf. till)). Originally also used of persons and places. Cf. Swed. intill, Dan. indtil. The Mod.Ger. equivalent, bis (O.H.G. biaz …   Etymology dictionary

  • Until... — Until... is a song from the 2001 Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe winning film Kate Leopold , sung by Sting. The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for the Academy Award in the same category …   Wikipedia

  • until — I adverb as far as, by the time that, down to, pending, til, to, to the time when, up to, up to the time of II index ad interim Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • until — [prep] just before as far as, before, before the coming, continuously, down to, in advance of, in expectation, prior to, till, to, up till, up to; concept 820 …   New thesaurus

  • until — ► PREPOSITION & CONJUNCTION ▪ up to (the point in time or the event mentioned). ORIGIN from Old Norse und as far as + TILL(Cf. ↑tillage) (the sense thus duplicated) …   English terms dictionary

  • until */*/*/ — UK [ənˈtɪl] / US conjunction, preposition Summary: Until can be used in the following ways: as a preposition (followed by a noun): She continued to get a salary until the end of March. as a conjunction (connecting two clauses): I stayed there… …   English dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.