1

I have just searched for the usage of "until" and "by", and I was confused by these sentences. I've tried my best to tell the difference between them, and give my understanding in the bracket. Is there anybody who can tell me am I correct?

  1. I've got to pay the money back by the end of the month.
    【=pay before the end of the month】

  2. I've got until the end of the month to pay the money back.
    【=I don't need to pay it back any more, once I successfully shun the debt】

  3. I put on an extra pair of socks. Until/By then my feet were freezing cold.
    【until:my feet were no longer cold after I put on stocks】
    【by:several minutes before I put on stocks I felt cold】

  4. I stood outside the cinema for an hour. By then my feet were freezing cold.
    【=in the end of the hour, my feet were cold】

  • Sinrey, your change of editing made the text less readable. Make sure to check below the editing window that the formatting you expect is appearing. Single returns usually don't change the formatting. – katatahito Jul 10 '19 at 3:45
0

1

I've got to pay the money back by the end of the month.

【=pay before the end of the month】

Yes, this is correct.

2

I've got until the end of the month to pay the money back.

【=I don't need to pay it back any more, once I successfully shun the debt】

This actually has pretty much the same meaning as the first sentence.

Until is more for continuous effects (you continually "have" the opportunity to pay back the loan, just like you'd continually have something more discrete.)

By tends to be used for more discrete effects. For instance, you go in and pay the loan money in one (or any finite number of) event. It's not like a battery plugged in and recharging; it's one button press (or perhaps slightly more.)

3

I put on an extra pair of socks. Until/By then my feet were freezing cold.

【until:my feet were no longer cold after I put on stocks】

【by:several minutes before I put on stocks I felt cold】

You want to use until in this sentence. Now, if you want to use by then you would want to have the time reference immediately before the "by." (See your next sentence.)

It took me fifteen minutes before I could get home and put on socks. By then my feet were freezing cold.

4

I stood outside the cinema for an hour. By then my feet were freezing cold.

【=in the end of the hour, my feet were cold】

This is correct.

| improve this answer | |
  • "I've got to pay the money back by the end of the month." means the money must be paid on or before the last day of the month. It does not mean that the money must be paid before that date, although it may be. – David Siegel Aug 9 '19 at 22:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.