Why in the following sentence, "by now" doesn't work? Is there any grammatical justification? -......we have traveled 500 miles. I know already that "so far", "up to now" and "until now" all work here and mean exactly the same, but I racked my brain and searched a lot. Finally I got to a deadlock and decided to ask it. (Though I had asked it in the following link one day ago, but no one had answered it before posting this question.) ……………we have traveled 500 miles - Fill in the blank

1 Answer 1


Until now we have traveled 500 miles.

-doesn't really work. I can't think of a situation where that would be appropriate.

By now, we have traveled 500.

-is perfectly acceptable when the time to travel the 500 miles is the focus, not the distance. In this case, "by now" and "up to now" are meaningfully interchangeable though I feel "up to now" implies a more precise measurement of time even if it's not directly stated.

  • 1
    Thanks @boatseller :) Yes you are right. It was a type of typo. "until now" doesn't work at all. But what about "so far"? Is it interchangeable with those two in this context? (I mean "by now" and "up to now")
    – A-friend
    Apr 17, 2014 at 2:52
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    Not really since "by now" and "up to now" are time specific while "so far" is ambiguous.
    – DTRT
    Apr 17, 2014 at 3:15
  • So do you mean using "so far" can be either time related or distance related and using it always is ambiguous? Then I think there is no objection for using it excepting the fact that is always ambiguous. Nevertheless I think grammatically they can mean the same (at least in this context). Am I right? (Although we know that "so far" can cause an ambiguity)
    – A-friend
    Apr 17, 2014 at 3:27
  • I think until now is also possible. Consider this example: "Seems like I've been everywhere in the last three months, until now I've travelled more than a freak show, and had more fun." or "My phulkari, until now, has travelled through a number of sites of careful and loving women's work." Apr 17, 2014 at 5:41
  • They're all grammatically correct, but do mean different things.
    – DTRT
    Apr 17, 2014 at 6:26

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