Is there any difference, whether in terms of usage or meaning between the two? For instance: How long before/ till the alarm goes off? How long till/ before you get here? How long before/ till this term ends?


To me (native American English speaker) they have the same meaning, but "before" sounds perhaps regional or outdated. It's totally grammatical and comprehensible, but I wouldn't expect to hear it often in Seattle.

In general, this construction, as compared to:

When does the term end?

What time do you get here?

has a slight nuance of "I think it's taking too long for the event to occur." If someone asks me:

How long till you get here?

I will probably hear, "I'm tired of waiting for you; why is it taking so long?" But it depends on the context and tone of voice.

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