from a tutorial

We might be a bit late, because I don’t finish work until seven.

Does the speaker make an indication that he always work until seven?

If the speaker try to refer to an one-time occurrence, should they use this one?

... because I won’t finish work until nine today. (I work late today)

  • 1
    Yes. "I finish work at..." refers to the speaker's regular working hours. The sense of "I don't finish until..." is that the finishing time is later than the other person might expect, or later than is convenient for whatever they are planning. It's quite logical if you are used to it! Commented May 30, 2020 at 10:00
  • 1
    Why would you say that the intonation does not focus on logic? Also, the speaker is only saying that they will be late today. It makes no explicit claim that they always finish work at 7:00. (In fact, I would infer the opposite, that the 7:00 finish is an exception—but that too would just be an assumption. Nothing is being said one way or the other.) Commented May 30, 2020 at 16:03
  • advice: Review the use of the simple present. Repetitive activity: simple present. What time do you finish dinner? Beginning English.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 18:56

2 Answers 2


I don’t think a distinction needs to be made. After all, the speaker is relating his work hours to a specific event for which he will be late. If the event is today, only today matters. If the event is everyday, then normal work hours would matter.

  • Thanks for your answer. I didn't say it clearly, I just updated the OP, would you take a look at it?
    – PutBere
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 21:29

Don't (do not) finish work means that the person usually doesn't finish work till 7:00. Won't (will not) finish work means the person doesn't want to finish work, and doesn't mean to.

See: this Quora article

  • @Fev: That was actually a link to a Quora article.
    – Void
    Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 18:36
  • Oops, sorry, I saw google in the link description and I just assumed... Thanks for correcting iti
    – fev
    Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 18:37

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