I'm stuck on a very simple phrase. A friend said "I won't be there until september". Wouldn't be better to say "I won't be there up till September"?

The same question about present: "I'm not here until september" or "I'm not here up till september"?

When is it better to use one or another? Is there really any difference besides fact that one might just sound more natural?

  • 1
    Uptil is not a word. You might be thinking of the phrase up till . If so, it's normally only used with a positive statement: I am here up till September. – Jason Bassford Jul 28 '20 at 19:31
  • I found 'uptil' in my dictionary and also here: link. – Lena Jul 28 '20 at 19:36
  • Interesting. Wiktionary says that particular spelling is specific to Indian English. In other regional versions (British and North American), the spelling is just up till. Although til can be used as an alternate spelling of until, many people would consider it (at least stylistically) a mistake, with the more common spellings being till or 'til. – Jason Bassford Jul 28 '20 at 19:45
  • That's even more interesting then, since the dictionary i found 'uptil' in is a Polish one. I'll correct the question. – Lena Jul 28 '20 at 19:52

The sentence "I won't be there until September" is perfectly all right. It implies that she is coming in September, but will not be there until then.

I am only familiar with "up till", not the word uptil, myself (American English). "Up till" is a shortened form of "up until", and its meaning is entirely different from "until" -- "up until", and, I assume, "uptil", is something that is currently true and will remain so until the time specified. "I will be there up until September" means almost the opposite of the first sentence, that is, she is there now and will be there until September, when she is supposedly leaving.

I guess someone could say "I won't be there up until September", meaning that the state of not being there is true now and will remain that way until then, but it is bound to confuse the listener. It's not that there's anything grammatically wrong with it, it's just that the original form is so much more common that the latter form is bound to be misunderstood.

But perhaps it is different in Indian, or British, English. Would anyone from those speaking cultures care to comment?

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