1

I wonder if someone could tell me which one of the following choice fits the best for my example?

……………..the World Heritage Organization has protected hundreds of sites ranging from beautiful natural islands to buildings in large cities to ancient ruins.

a) up to now
b) so far
d) by now
e) until now

For me, they all work and they all mean the same in this specific context. But I wonder if someone do me a favor and let me know if here is any slight nuance or usage feature for each one over the others. For example I am guessing there should be a difference in politeness or formality degree between them.

All opinions are welcome.

  • Meanwhile I wonder if both of the sentences bellow mean the same thing: - A) The documents must be submitted to the agency by 7 oclock. - B) The documents must be submitted to the agency up to 7 oclock. – A-friend Apr 15 '14 at 2:56
  • A little suggestion. Would you mind learning the 'formatting' the question? This'll convey message in a better way. – Maulik V Apr 15 '14 at 5:20
2

I wouldn't use any of the choices for this example, because by drawing a line at the present ("Up to now"), you suggest that the activities of the organization are about to change. When you start a sentence "Until now..." the listener will expect "...but not anymore" to follow. Same for "so far", there is an expected "...but no longer."

"By now" is slightly different, because it suggests events that have been taking place in a recent time frame. ("The robbers escape this morning. By now, they could be miles away!")

This is all nuance, and there will be exceptions.

The example sentence doesn't need anything added. Or you could say something like, "Since it was founded, World Heritage Organization has protected hundreds of sites ranging from beautiful natural islands to buildings in large cities to ancient ruins."

  • Thanks @relaxing, but do what you say apply to my second question in the comment bellow the main question? And also I need to know about your idea over the following example: - I’ve always trusted him (so far / up to now / until now). I certainly need more explanation about these three questions of mine. Understanding the nuance of these sentences is a little difficult for me. – A-friend Apr 15 '14 at 3:22
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    In your second question, (A) must be ... by 7 o'clock (B) may be ... up to 7 o'clock. 'Must' does not work with 'up to', as by using 'must' you are imposing a deadline. Your other question is best submitted as a whole new question. – toandfro Apr 15 '14 at 4:52
  • Thanks but I didn't understand well what you said! ((1)) What did you mean by "In your second question, (A) must be ... by 7 o'clock (B) may be ... up to 7 o'clock."??? ((2)) If I use "should" instead of "must" then "by" can work as "up to" does? ((3)) My third question is about my first (original) question! telling the truth I didn't understand what @relaxing was going to say! It was really confusing for me and I didn't realize what was he getting at! I wonder if someone answers me in a simpler way! What are the semantic nuances of each choice and what would be the effect of each one? – A-friend Apr 15 '14 at 23:31
  • Meanwhile I would be really thankful if someone could help me with this example too: - I've always trusted him ((so far)). - I've always trusted him ((up to now)). - I've always trusted him ((until now)). I need to know which one is correct and which one is not and why? – A-friend Apr 15 '14 at 23:33
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    @A-friend I am making the distinction between 'must' (which is compulsory) and 'may be' (which allows some element of choice). The compulsory part is that the deadline is met. The element of choice is exactly when before the deadline the documents are submitted. 'By' states only the deadline, and fits with must. 'Up to' points more to the period before the deadline, and fits better with may be. That's why it sounds odd to say that something must be done up to (a deadline). So The documents may be submitted at any time up to the deadline, by which time they must have been submitted. – toandfro Apr 16 '14 at 0:15

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