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how many months is it when somebody says:

Expats should take note that the hurricane season runs from June to November, and extreme weather can be a safety issue.

Does it mean that the season runs for 6 or 5 months?

E.g. does it mean that the Hurricane season ends in November or after november - meaning it ends in December?

If I said:

Expats should take note that the hurricane season last from June until November, and extreme weather can be a safety issue.

Does it now mean that it lats only 5 months? That starting November the season is over?

Thank you for explaining!

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Glorfindel, JavaLatte, Laure, Nathan Tuggy Apr 9 '17 at 19:41

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  • It is ambiguous. Different speakers will say and interpret from/to a month in different ways. – AmE speaker Apr 9 '17 at 13:48
  • Keep in mind that what it's describing (the length of hurricane season) is in itself rather ambiguous. It's not like there's a little man who comes around and closes the hurricane shop on November 1st/30th. When there's ambiguity in the underlying topic being discussed, that ambiguity will often be reflected by a choice of phrasing which permits this ambiguity. Or in other words, whether it's the beginning or end of November is left unspecified deliberately. – R.M. Apr 9 '17 at 17:42
  • How precise does anyone need to be? A tourist book may well say 'from June to November'. The National Hurricane Center says 'from 1 June to 30 November'. (As a matter of fact, the first definition was 15 June to 31 October, before the starting date was adjusted earlier and the ending date later, twice.) – Sydney Apr 9 '17 at 22:07
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June until November

This expression is not very specific: it is only suitable for use when you want to give a general indication of times. If you want to be specific, you have to include days of the month:

1st June to 30th November

Alternatively, you can use the word inclusive, to indicate that you mean from the beginning of the first month to the end of the last month.

June to November inclusive

Note that the word exclusive cannot be used to refer to time.

You can also say

June through November

In the US, this is understood to be inclusive. In the UK, it is much less widely used: most people would understand the aproximate meaning, but I doubt that many would understand it to be inclusive.

This NGram shows the relative infrequency of use of through in the UK, and many of the instances are clearly mis-classified US publications.

  • You could also just say "From June through November". – BruceWayne Apr 9 '17 at 16:11
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    @BruceWayne, that would work in the US, and it is inclusive, but through is not widely used in that sense the UK. It is understood, but most British people would not know whether or not it is inclusive. – JavaLatte Apr 9 '17 at 16:18
  • oh really? Good point, I didn't think to interpret that way until you noted that. – BruceWayne Apr 9 '17 at 16:34
  • It wouldn't have occurred to me that only Americans can say June through November - the only difference I'd recognise is that AmE would more likely spell it thru. Anyway, I included the BrE spelling cheque rather than check to restrict my Google Books search for "by cheque" "january through". I doubt there really are 50 hits there, but surely it's enough to show the usage does occur in BrE. – FumbleFingers Apr 9 '17 at 17:04
  • @FumbleFingers, If you look at actual instances in the search that you quoted, very few of them relate to the UK. Russia, New York, Australia, Asia. I'm not saying that British people don't ever use through, and certainly most British people would know approximately what it means, but many would not understand that it is inclusive. – JavaLatte Apr 9 '17 at 17:18
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Expats should take note that the hurricane season last from June until November, and extreme weather can be a safety issue.

This is not a specific timeline. Hurricane season can start as early as June 1st and go as late as November 30th. However, there may even be an occasional hurricane prior to June and after November. There is no hard and fast rule with hurricanes but the high season, or busiest season is from all of June until the 30th of November.

I promised myself I'd stop trying to answer time questions. It is a slippery slope. Hurricane prediction as with any weather is not an exact science.

  • Yes, but I wanted to know from this phrase usage. So both from-until and as well from-to mean that they both include full month which is mentioned as last? – Peter Apr 9 '17 at 13:45
  • Yes, but that doesn't mean there will be a hurricane. If your question was about the trip from one place to another taking from June to November, it would be the same. There's too much wiggle room to be specific. The school year runs from September to June... It starts some time in September and ends sometime in June. The only way to be specific is to say, "The school year starts September 8, 2016 and ends June 26, 2017". In conversation unless we need specifics -- "The school year runs from September to June." – WRX Apr 9 '17 at 13:59

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