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I'm trying to say that a temperature can reach -X °C as a minimum, in a sentence that would look like

... with temperatures up to 40 °C.

for a maximum.

For what I've seen "down to" doesn't apply for this kind of sentence, but I'm not sure.

So what is the "up to" equivalent for a minimum ?

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    There is nothing wrong with "down to." – Jeff Morrow Dec 30 '17 at 17:41
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Usually we use "as low as" as the opposite of "up to".

Temperatures tonight will reach as low as -40 °C.

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  • According to ngram, "as high as" and "as low as" are more common ways of saying the same thing as "up to" and "down to." "As high as" is slightly more common than "up to" whereas "as low as" is considerably more common than "down to." Thus the answer is perfectly correct in saying "more usual," but it should not then be inferred that "down to" is an unusual or strange locution. Although I cannot prove it, I suspect that "up to" and down to" are far more common in speech than ngram indicates. – Jeff Morrow Dec 30 '17 at 17:55
  • So does it apply when we talk about temperatures that can be -40 °C as well as much more (like 50 °C) ? Because when I read this, I would understand that : the temperatures are generally cold, but tonight they may reach a minimum of -40 °C ; yet my question is about general cases, where the temperatures can be much higher but we only know the minimum. – N. Cornet Dec 30 '17 at 18:05
  • @JeffMorrow: NGrams are not definitive proof of anything her regarding the OP's construction ("temperatures up to"). There are too many other constructions that involve "up to" and "down to"; read this posting about NGram usage on SE sites. – Robusto Dec 30 '17 at 20:50
  • I certainly did not say that Ngrams were definitive proof of something. In fact, I explicitly pointed out that Ngrams cannot capture patterns of common speech. Are you seriously saying that no one would say "The weather forecast says it is going down to zero tonight." Or are you trying to say that "down to" cannot be used with minima whereas "up to" may be used with maxima? If so, please give your citations. – Jeff Morrow Dec 30 '17 at 21:15
  • @JeffMorrow: Please don't get all defensive. I'm just pointing something out that needs to be pointed out from time to time. And I'm certainly not saying that no one would say "going down to zero"; in fact, that was one of the cases I was thinking of that is excluded by your NGram citation. – Robusto Dec 30 '17 at 21:33

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