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Could you possibly let me know whether both of the following sentences in each set mean the same thing or not:

A) - I can’t wait for you until 8 p.m.

  • I can’t wait for you up to 8 p.m.

B) - I can’t wait for you until one week.

  • I can’t wait for you up to one week.

2 Answers 2

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This one's tricky.

I can't wait for you until 8pm.

Can be interpreted in two ways.

  1. I am otherwise occupied until 8pm, then I can wait for you. Emphasis on 'until'.
  2. I am waiting now, as I say this, but cannot wait for you any longer even though you expect me to wait until 8pm. Emphasis on 'can't wait'.

I can wait for you up to 8pm.

Is ok.

I can't wait for you up to 8pm.

doesn't make sense.

Neither B option make sense either. You would say "I can wait for you for one week."

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  • Thank you. Just three more questions: (1) - in group 'A', my two versions of the same sentence can be used interchangeably or not. (Having in mind that using 'until' can be interpreted in two different ways) (2) - Can we say "I can wait for you until 8pm.". If not, then why? (3) - As both 'up to' and 'until' refer to a period of time, why they don't make sense in negative form?
    – A-friend
    Apr 17, 2014 at 4:23
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Grammatically all are correct and both sets have the same meaning. I think your confusion was about the usage of "until" and "up to". And you have used them correctly. But they doesn't sound natural. You generally say the time till you wait, not otherwise the way you mentioned in your sentence.

"I will wait till 8 O' clock"

"I will wait for you at 8 O' clock"

"After 8 O' clock, I will wait for you there"

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